efe-epaBy Sara Gomez Armas. Manila

The COVID-19 epidemic in the Philippines has served as impetus for the Rodrigo Duterte government to launch a plan to return thousands to their provinces of origin in an attempt to decongest Manila, home to 13 million and one of the most densely populated capitals in the world.

The government is offering cash incentives and employment opportunities to encourage the return of Filipinos to secondary cities under the program, Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pagasa (Return to the Province, New Hope) one of the most aggressive plans in decades to repopulate its provinces. EFE-EPA