The Pangasinan Provincial Government made major strides in 2023 by implementing massive projects in a range of development-related areas.
Since assuming office, Gov. Ramon V. Guico III and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, led by Vice Gov. Mark Ronald DG. Lambino, have laid out lofty goals that are aligned with the province’s vision and mission.
The governor’s unwavering advocacy for sustainable development was accomplished in a short amount of time because of his creative leadership.
One such example of a dream-come-true project is the P34 billion Pangasinan Link Expressway project.
The signing of the PLEX Joint Venture and Toll Concession Agreements between Pangasinan Gov. Guico and San Miguel Corporation CEO President Mr. Ramon S. Ang yielded positive results in terms of economy, livelihood opportunities, business, and connectivity to boost the province’s tourism industry.
The ground-breaking ceremony and the laying of the time capsule for the Reflecting Pool and Interactive Fountain Project at the Provincial Capitol in November are another manifestation that 2023 is the Golden Age of Infrastructure for Pangasinan. The project is expected to spur economic growth and development. It is one of the major projects to take place at the heart of the Provincial Capitol Complex.
Moreover, funds amounting to P312,764,548.51 for Medical Assistance for Indigent Patients and Financially-Incapacitated Patients (MAIP) have eased the burden of individuals needing medical assistance, owing to the generosity of national and local officials, which were made possible through the resourcefulness of the governor and his father, 5th District Representative Ramon “Monching” Guico, Jr. Said amount was the biggest ever downloaded to the province since the program was launched in 2021.
Data on revenue collection showed a sharp increase in revenue collection, notably in quarry collection, which reached 309.20% in the first quarter of 2023. This contributed the biggest share to the province’s revenue collection. Said achievement is attributed to the strict implementation and monitoring of collectibles.
The revival of Pangasinan’s salt industry, which is expected to produce 15,000 metric tons of salt, is another outstanding accomplishment. Recently, the project marked its historic ceremonial harvest at the salt hub in Barangay Zaragoza, Bolinao.
‘The province has regained the management of the salt farm, which is attached to the identity of Pangasinan—a place where salt is made. Andiyan na ang identity natin. Hindi mo mabayaran ito, hindi matutumbasan ng anumang halaga, because this is who we are as Pangasinenses, the governor said.
Gov. Guico introduced ‘Corporate Farming’ as one of its signature projects to transform the agriculture sector as a partner in Pangasinan’s food security.
Further, the governor is set to enter into and sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the development of a mixed-use integrated infrastructure for housing and sustainable communities in the province under the Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pamilyang Pilipino (4PH) Program.
Within the next five years, Governor Guico hopes to see the construction of 20,000 new homes in the province.
Likewise, the province pushed for the construction of a Reformation Center/Balay Silangan for drug users in Burgos town that served as a more holistic approach to the province’s war against drugs.
Pangasinan has established one response command center and its own 911 emergency hotline in order to effectively handle emergency situations.
Another gigantic project that is expected to take off in 2024 is the Pangasinan Bangus Breeding and Hatchery Facilities, a World Bank-assisted project worth P238 million.
Relative to this, the province has launched the construction of three units of provincial warehouses with multi-purpose drying envisioned to reduce post-harvest losses.
Advocacy for environmental protection and preservation is one priority project to be reckoned with by the Guico administration. Hence, the Pangasinan Green Canopy Project was launched.
As of December 18, Pangasinan’s Green Canopy Project, which aims to grow 1 million trees, has recorded a total of 150,000 seedlings planted by different offices, departments, hospital personnel, volunteers, and local leaders.
These and other priority programs for the general welfare in areas of education, shelter, employment, peace and order, and cultural affairs showed a great impact on the province’s relentless efforts and initiative in its commitment to good governance and for the welfare of more than 3.3 million Pangasinenses.
2024 will be an exciting and more challenging year, the governor stated. This year will see the realization of big-impact projects, which are long-term commitments made for Pangasinan’s future rather than just campaign promises. (Chona C. Bugayong/ PIMRO)