Press Release

Dasol remains Pangasinan’s top salt producer

LINGAYEN, PANGASINAN — The town of Dasol in the western part of Pangasinan, is still the province’s top salt producer.

In 2021, Dasol produced 24,000 metric tons (MT) of salt from its more than 10,000 banigan (salt beds) located in 13 of its 18 villages, according to the data gathered by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg) here.

A banigan measuring 5.5 meters (18 feet) by 6 meters (20 feet) produces about 30 sacks of salt, each sack weighing 60 kilograms.

Dasol’s production that year was 37.4 percent of the province’s total production of 64,156.36 MT.

Dasol’s salt farms are located along the Maasin River, one of the rivers cutting through the town that flows to the Dasol Bay and to the West Philippine Sea.

Salt-making has been one of the town’s major sources of livelihood here in the last eight decades.

Next to Dasol is the town of Bolinao, which produced 12,240 MT of salt from its salt beds in the villages of Victory, Pilar, and Zaragoza.

But 98 percent (12,000 MT) of the town’s salt production that year came from a 473-hectare salt farm operated by Pacific Farms Inc. in Barangay Zaragoza.

The salt farm, which was the country’s largest salt producer, has stopped production after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) shut it down in 2021 because its foreshore lease contract had long expired.

Nestor Batalla, assistant provincial agriculturist, said that by October this year, the farm will start producing salt again after the provincial government took over its operations.

Last December, Gov. Ramon Guico III signed a memorandum of agreement with the DENR for the “interim management” of the area for salt production and other related activities, such as bangus production.

Salt production usually takes place during the dry months from November to May. It is during this period when salt farmers take advantage of the sun’s heat to produce salt.

Through the heat, the salty water allowed to flood the salt beds in the morning, evaporate and leave behind salt crystals, which are harvested and stored in warehouses for processing.

Other salt producers in western Pangasinan are Alaminos City (5,208 MT), Bani (4,617 MT), and Anda (3,750 MT).

The town of Infanta produced about 9,622.8 MT of salt in 2021, but not from salt beds. The salt was produced by boiling leached brine, a salt production method that is also practiced in the towns of Anda, San Fabian, and Mangaldan.

At present, Batalla said, Pangasinan salt farms’ total area is 1,432.4 hectares, and about 1,034 individuals are engaged in salt production.


Press Release

SP allows Governor Guico to sign MOA with DOH

SP allows Governor Guico to sign MOA with DOH for the implementation of aid to indigent patients program in five provincial government hospitals

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) on Monday authorized Gov. Ramon Guico III to enter into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of Health Center for Health Development 1 (DOH CHD 1) for the implementation of the Medical Assistance to Indigent Patients (MAIP) program in five provincial government hospital .

In her resolution, SP Member Shiela Marie F. Baniqued said the MAIP program will be initially implemented at the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital in San Carlos City, Lingayen District Hospital in Lingayean, Bayambang District Hospital in Bayambang, Urdaneta District Hospital in Urdaneta City, and Pozorrubio Community Hospital in Pozorrubio.

The MAIP program is a DOH program intended to provide support to indigent and poor patients seeking medical examination, consultation, treatment and rehabilitation, and patients confined in government hospitals.

Board Member Baniqued said that for this year, the DOH CHD-1 allocated P21,658,000 for Pangasinan.

The breakdown of the fund for the five hospitals is as follows: Pangasinan Provincial Hospital, P11,564,000; Lingayen District Hospital, P490,000; Bayambang District Hospital, P1,470,000; Urdaneta District Hospital, P7,154,000; and Pozorrubio Community Hospital, P980,000.

Vice Governor Mark Ronald DG. Lambino said that the MAIP program will eventually cover all 14 provincial government-run hospitals in the province.

He also said that Senator Bong Go has committed P28 million to the province to be given to all 14 government hospitals as soon as funds will be downloaded to the regional health office.


Press Release

Salt farm run by prov’l gov’t to start producing salt by October

LINGAYEN, PANGASINAN — After more than two years, the 473-hectare salt farm in Barangay Zaragoza in Bolinao town will finally start producing salt again.

But this time, the provincial government will be operating it, not the Pacific Farms Inc., whose foreshore lease contract had expired in 2002 and was not renewed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The salt farm, which was shut down in February 2021, used to be the country’s largest salt producer, contributing up to 25,000 metric tons (MT) a year to the country’s total salt production.

“By July this year, we will start our preliminary activities in the farm so that by October, we will already start harvesting salt,” said Nestor Batalla, assistant provincial agriculturist.

Last December, Gov. Ramon Guico III signed a memorandum of agreement with the DENR for the “interim management” of the area for salt production and other related activities, such as bangus production.

“We have a crisis in salt, and with this development, we are able to respond to the call of the President (Marcos) to contribute to national food security,” said Governor Guico.

Last year, industry experts said the country imports 93 percent of its salt requirements of 600,000 MT per year.

Pangasinan, whose name is derived from the local term for salt (“asin”), is the country’s largest salt producer.

In 2021, the province produced 64,156 MT from its 1,432.4-hectare salt farms located in seven towns and Alaminos City, according to the data collected by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist.

Governor Guico’s special assistant and former Board Member Von Mark Mendoza said that the provincial government will be introducing innovations to increase the volume of  salt produced at the Zaragoza farm.

For instance, plastic-roofed tunnels will be built over the salt beds to enable them to continue producing salt even when it is raining.

Mendoza learned of this salt production technology during a recent benchmarking visit to Indonesia, where the tunnel system in salt farms is widely used. He said that the tunnel system increased salt production by up to about 30 percent.

He also said that instead of installing tiles on the salt beds, high-density polyethelene will be used for higher yield and to produce better quality salt.

“One thing unique in Indonesia is that they have a salt production area that is state-owned. But through the initiative of the Governor, the provincial government itself is now venturing into salt production,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza was with Batalla, Board Member Philip Theodore Cruz, Engr. Amadeo Veras of the Provincial Engineer’s Office, and Sydney Soriano of the Provincial Information Office during the five-day visit to Indonesia.

“With Divine intervention and our salt production will succeed, we can become trailblazer, we will be the leading LGU in the field of salt production,” Mendoza said. (PangasinanPIO)

Press Release

Gov. Guico asks Customs to remove ship loaded with oil from Sual Bay

LINGAYEN, PANGASINAN — Gov. Ramon “Mon-mon” Guico III on Monday asked the Bureau of Customs (BoC) to remove the ship loaded with more than a million liters of oil from Sual Bay, where it had docked since May 3.

“The ship should be moved to a safer location to protect the bay area from destruction, in the event the crude oil from the ship leaks into the bay,” said Governor Guico in an emergency meeting he called at the Urduja House.


Provincial Legal Officer  Baby Ruth Torre said she has written the BoC to formalize the governor’s request.

The ship, MV Veronica I, is now under the custody of the BoC office in Sual after the agency seized the ship when it failed to show the necessary documents for its cargo.

The ship carried 1.35 million liters of crude oil worth P54 million.

Sual Bay, which is a cove facing the Lingayen Gulf, hosts the town’s mariculture area where more than 800 bangus cages are located.

Sual, and the towns of Bolinao and Anda, supply about 80 percent of bangus produced in Pangasinan.

Pablo Costales of Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) extension office in Pangasinan said the ship was not issued by his agency a safety certificate and it should not have sailed.

Cmdr. Mark Theodore Valencia, chief of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) station in Pangasinan, recommended that MV Veronica 1 be allowed to temporarily dock at Sual Fish Port as safety precaution because a typhoon is expected to enter the country on May 26.

“As recommended by Commander Valencia, let us allow the ship to dock in the pier to prevent the possibility that it will be dragged. But it has to be ensured that the evidence, the contents of the ship will be guarded,” said Governor Guico.

Governor Guico also said that the docking at the pier is temporary, adding that the ship should be eventually removed from the bay.

For its part, the Deparment of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) suggested that spill booms be installed around the ship when it docks in the pier.

The DENR also suggested the installation of additional anchors in the ship to stabilize the vessel. The DENR said that their divers found out that the ship dropped its anchor on a muddy substrate.

Lawyer Catherine Regino, legal officer of Sual, said that there is already “an imminent danger or threat” because of the spillage of the oil coming from the ship.

However, laboratory analyses of water samples taken by the DENR near the ship indicated that there were no traces of oil spill in the area yet.

“But the danger remains,” said Governor Guico.

“Is there a way to legally remove the contents of the ship and then remove the ship from the bay and then account for the contents?” the governor asked.

Lawyer Emmanuel Laforteza of the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office said that a sample of the oil is only needed as evidence to be presented in court.

“And for the rest of the diesel products, we can remove that and put it in a safer place or a container as long as we can preserve the evidence by taking a sample. And we have to fasttrack the hearing of that case so we can dispose of this hazardous element,” Laforteza said. (PangasinanPIO)

Press Release

Gov. Guico asks LGUs’ help to promote football in Pangasinan

LINGAYEN, PANGASINAN — Gov. Ramon “Mon-mon” Guico III on Sunday urged local government units (LGU) in Pangasinan to help him promote football in the province by setting up a football pitch in their town or city.

“We a have a bright future in football. That’s why let us promote this sports,” said Governor Guico, who formally opened the 10th Grassroots Football Day celebration at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center on May 21, 2023.

Among the guests were Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Youth Development head Tetsuya Tsuchida, and Referees Department head Allan Martinez.

The one-day event, where 31 teams from 17 football clubs in the province played, was Pangasinan Football Association’s (PFA) participation in the 10th Grassroots Football Day being celebrated by Asian Football Confederation (AFC) member associations this month.

PFA, which is headed by Governor Guico as its president, is one of the new frontier areas of the PFF, an AFC member association.

Governor Guico said that by June or July this year, PFF will be granting PFA a regular membership status.

“We waited for this for 14 years,” said Governor Guico, adding that the football club he organized at that time was only intended for his hometown Binalonan. “But we realized that it should be for the whole province,” he said.

Governor Guico said that when PFA finally receives its PFF regular membership status, there will be more football events in the province and training programs for coaches and players, which will be sanctioned by the PFA and PFF.

Leo Arnaiz, provincial sports coordinator and PFA secretary general, said that with the governor at the forefront in promoting football, each town and city in the province will already have a football team by the end of this year.

“The advantage of the governor as PFA president, is that he reaches every LGU. So, I guess many more will be joining us,” said Arnaiz.

“Hopefully, by the end of this year, each town will have a football team. It’s possible. As long as they understand the structure that they will have to be a  a member of the association in Pangasinan,” he said.

Arnaiz said that by the end by July, the PFF will be launching a program that will bring football to the schools.

“Bringing football to each school. You know, this is not new to us anymore because most of our schools have football teams. So, this is not difficult for us anymore,” Arnaiz said. (PangasinanPIO)

Press Release

Improved Care, Treatment of PDLS Now Felt at Provincial Jail

LINGAYEN, PANGASINAN — Increase in meal allowance. Regular medical check-ups. Conjugal visits twice a week.

These were just some of the initiatives that Gov. Ramon “Mon-mon” Guico III had implemented in the provincial jail here to improve care and treatment of persons deprived of liberty (PDL) in the facility.

Provincial jail chief Lovell Dalisay said that the meal allowance now of each PDL has been increased to P100 a day, P30 higher than the P70 a day that they used to have for years.

“As a result, we now have a menu cycle with corresponding dishes to be served to them,” said Dalisay, a retired police lieutenant colonel.

The provincial jail currently houses 270 PDLs,15 of them women.

Dalisay said that to ensure that their medical needs are attended to, Governor Guico had directed the Provincial Health Office to visit the provincial jail regularly to conduct medical check-ups.

To give the PDLs more time to be with their loved ones, the PDLs may now receive visitors twice a week, every Tuesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The PDL’s can now also call their loved ones and talk to them for 10 minutes, instead of only 5 minutes previously allotted to them.

“We now also have a conjugal visit program to preserve the PDLs marriage,” said Dalisay. Conjugal visits are scheduled every Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

To avail of the program, Dalisay said that visitors must be able to show their marriage certificates with the PDLs, and Covid-19 vaccination cards.

As regards livelihood training activities, the PDLs participate in the training program conducted by the Pangasinan State University (PSU).

The skills training include wellness “hilot” massage, food and beverages, rag making, and nail care.

Dalisay also said that upon his assumption in July last year, he immediately reconstituted the provincial jail’s management screening and evaluation committee, which grants good conduct time allowance (GCTA) to PDLs who show good behavior.

Republic Act (RA) 10592, which was enacted in 2013, amended RA 3815 or the Revised Penal Code. The law increased the GCTA of PDLs to be credited in the service of their sentence.

To enhance the skills of provincial jail personnel in securing and safeguarding the PDLs and the facility, Dalisay said that he conducted a firearms familiarization training for the jail guards.

He said he also formulated a jail defense and fire plans to enable provincial jail personnel to know what course of action to take in the event of an enemy attack or destruction of the jail that will endanger the lives of PDLs.

“Because of the formulation of these plans, we now conduct quarterly simulation exercises in order to prepare our personnel in defending the PDLs, the visitors, and the employees of provincial jail from enemy attack, and protect them in case of fire,” Dalisay said. (PangasinanPIO)

Press Release

Pangasinan gov’t receives Pagibig Fund’s StAR Award

The Pag-IBIG Fund has conferred a StAR Award to the Pangasinan provincial government for being a top government sector employer in north Luzon in 2022.

The award was received by Special Assistant to the Governor and former Board Member Von Mark Mendoza during the Pag-IBIG Fund’s Stakeholder’s Accomplishment Report held at SMX Clark in Pampanga on May 12, 2023.

The Pag-IBIG Fund StAR is a semi-annual event conducted in five major regions of the country to recognize top developers and employers for their significant contributions to the continued growth of the Fund.

Pag-IBIG Fund CEO Marilene Acosta thanked the north Luzon stakeholders for their contribution in sustaining the agency’s strong performance in 2022.

The Pag-IBIG StAR Awardees in North Luzon for 2022 were:

Top Employer Government Sector

-Provincial Government of Pangasinan

-Cagayan Valley Medical Center

-Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center

Top 10 Developer

  1. Fiesta Communities, Inc. & Hausland Group
  2. Westchester Realty Corporation
  3. Borland Development Corporation
  4. Innova Homes Realty Corp. & Innova Homes North Inc.
  5. Prima Casa Land & Houses Inc. & Affiliates
  6. 8990 Housing Development Corp. & Affiliates
  7. The New APEC Development Group
  8. P.A. Alvarez Properties & Development Corp. & Affiliates
  9. Kirkwood Development Corporation
  10. J and LG Citihomes, Inc.

Top Employer Private Sector

-Sitel Philippines Corporation

-3CS Industrial Staffing Solutions Inc.

-Yokohama Tire Philippines Inc.

Top Collection Agency

S.P. Madrid & Associates

Special Awards

Best in Conversion: 8990 Housing Development Corp & Affiliates

Best in Performing Loans Ratio: P.A. Alvarez Properties & Development Copr. & Affiliates

Best in Performing Accounts Ratio: Borland Development Corporation

Press Release

Prov’l gov’t warns barangay officials vs scammers

LINGAYEN, PANGASINAN —The provincial government has warned the public against an individual, who had been selling raffle tickets to barangay officials in the province, supposedly to enable them to attend a convention in this capital town.

In a public advisory posted on the provincial government’s social media page, Governor Guico said his office did not authorize anyone to sell tickets for the program, which will be held at the Sison Auditorium on June 23, 2023.

“This is a clear modus operandi of that individual to scam people just to make money,” Governor Guico said.

Reports reaching the Governor’s Office indicated that the individual, who identified himself as Engr. Jong Cervantes, visited several barangay halls in the town of Laoac on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, and told barangay officials that they had to buy P3,000 worth of raffle tickets to be able to attend the convention.

A barangay official immediately called the Governor’s Office and found out that the sale of raffle tickets was unauthorized.

The incident was also reported to the Laoac Police Station, which immediately informed all police stations, local government units and barangay officials in the province about the scammer. (PangasinanPIO)

Press Release

Governor Guico sets up investment promotion office

LINGAYEN, PANGASINAN — Gov. Ramon “Mon-mon” Guico III has set up a provincial government investment promotion office, which is primarily tasked to invite more investors to the province.

“The reason why we first set up our PEDIPO headed by Atty. Raymund Bautista is to encourage many more investors to put their money in the province,” said Governor Guico.

PEDIPO is the Provincial Economic Development and Investment Promotion Office, which was created through a Sangguniang Panlalawigan ordinance last year.

Among its tasks is to facilitate and coordinate the province’s economic development and investment promotion advocacies to generate local and foreign investments in the province.

“We would like to organize through that office an investment summit. We just have to move it back a little, maybe on the 3rd or 4th quarter of the year because we have to account all the possible investment opportunities in the province,” said Governor Guico.

On May 3, a joint development agreement was signed by three companies at the Urduja House here for the establishment of solar power plants in the towns of Dasol and Infanta in western Pangasinan.

“I am happy to tell you that this will be the first major investment under the administration of Governor Guico. And I assure you, there will be more,” said former Bayambang Mayor and businessman Cezar Quiambao.

The solar farms will be built by CSFirst Green Agri-Industrial Development Inc., URIT Limited Philippines Corp., and China Energy International Group Company.

Last May 2, the San Miguel Holdings Corporation submitted an unsolicited proposal to the provincial goverment for the construction of the Pangasinan East-West Expressway.

Governor Guico said that one of the biggest business process outsourcing (BPO) firms in the country had expressed serious interest in establishing more of their business in the province.

“They wanted to meet me again but we have to talk with the business sector in the province because we have conduct an inventory of the available real estate, leasable spaces, buildings, that they are looking for” said Governor Guico.

“So, there are so many things to be done. But the direction of the province is that we want to invite more investors here in Pangasinan. And this venture, this partnership of CSFirst Green, URIT Philippines, and China Energy, yes, I’m sure, is the start a trend of investments pouring in to Pangasinan,” the governor added.


Press Release

Governor Guico warns quarry operators: pay taxes and fees or quarry somewhere else

LINGAYEN, PANGASINAN — Gov. Ramon “Mon-mon” Guico III has warned quarry operators in Pangasinan that they cannot operate in the province if they do not want to pay the new taxes and fees being imposed on quarrying activities.

“My statement to them — and there are only a few of them — is this: If you do not agree with the new fees and you keep on complaining, don’t quarry here in Pangasinan. Go to other provinces. And don’t destroy our roads, bridges, and mountains here in Pangasinan,” said Governor Guico.

Last year, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan unanimously approved a provincial tax ordinance that amended the province’s 11-year-old Revenue Code and increased mineral extraction fees from P16 per cubic meter (cu.m.) to P50 per cu. m.

The ordinance, which was implemented last month, also imposed administrative fees ranging from P50 per cu. m. to P250 per cu. m., depending on the volume of minerals loaded on the truck.

In addition, road maintenance fees ranging from P100 per cu. m. to P300 per cu. m. per truckload were collected, also depending on volume of minerals being hauled.

Under the ordinance, 40 percent of the taxes collected will go to the barangay where the resources were extracted, 30 percent will go to the town or city, and 30 percent to the province.

“So, they should not say that all of the money go to the province because that’s not true. The barangay and the town also benefit from the extraction fees,” said Governor Guico.

The governor said that the administrative fees being collected are for the purchase of equipment and gadgets for the remote monitoring of the quarry sites.

“We should know how many trucks go there, how much they pay, and how many are going out of the area, etc.,”  Governor Guico said.

He said that the road maintenance fee will be used to repair the provincial roads and bridges traversed by hauling trucks.

“First of all, it’s only them who are destroying our roads and bridges. It happened in Bayambang. Overloading. How much will it cost the government to fix that? At least P300 million,” said Governor Guico.

The governor was referring to the Wawa Bridge, which collapsed in October last year as two trucks overloaded with sand and gravel crossed the bridge.

Last year, officials of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources informed Governor Guico that Pangasinan had been charging the lowest extraction fee in the Ilocos Region since 2010.

“Do you know much the province collected from quarrying fees in 2022? Only P12 million. From all the quarry sites  from 1st to 6th district of the province,” Guico said.

“And do you know how much it willl cost us to repair our provincial roads and bridges? More than P1 billion. Where will we get the money,” he added.

Under the provincial tax ordinance, operators of illegal quarry sites and mines may be charged with theft of minerals, which is punishable under the provisions of RA 7942 or Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

Quarry operators are also required by the ordinance to rehabilitate the excavated area to “a condition suitable for agricultural or other economic activities.”

They are required to pay a cash bond of P100,000 before a permit is issued to ensure that they will comply with this obligation. Otherwise, the bond will be forfeited and they willl no longer be issued a quarry permit in the future. (PangasinaPIO)

Press Release

Governor Guico orders vaccination of all eligible children against measles, Rubella, polio

LINGAYEN, PANGASINAN — Gov. Ramon “Mon-mon” Guico III urged health workers in Pangasinan to conduct vaccination activities in the province’s far-flung areas to ensure that every child aged 0 to 59 months would be vaccinated against measles, Rubella, and polio.

“We should also intensify our information dissemination campaign to educate parents because it is them who will decide whether their children should be vaccinated or not,” Governor Guico said.

On Wednesday (May 3), Governor Guico launched this year’s measles, Rubella, and oral poliovirus vaccine supplementation activity in the province at the Pangasinan Training and Development Center 2 here by administering an oral poliovirus vaccine to his four-year-old daughter Eliza Rae, assisted by his wife, Ms. Maan Tuazon Guico.

Also vaccinated during the activity were some 200 children enrolled at the Child Care and Development Center of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office and children of provincial capitol employees.

Dr. Anna Ma. Teresa de Guzman, provincial health officer, said that this year’s target of the measles and Rubella vaccination campaign are some 262,944 children aged 9 to 59 months old, while some 307,548 children aged 0 to 59 months are being targetted to be given oral poliovirus vaccine.

At least 95 percent of the eligible children must be vaccinated at the end of the month-long campaign, according to De Guzman.

But she said that the challenge for them this year is to maintain if not surpass her office’s achievement in 2020, when they vaccinated more than 99 percent of their target for measles and Rubella vaccines, and 96 percent of their target for oral poliovirus vaccine.

Dr. Valerie Tesoro, director of the Department of Health’s (DOH) Health Laboratories Office, said that in 2022, DOH listed 225 measles cases in the country, adding that at least 15 of them were recorded in Pangasinan.

This year, no confirmed cases yet have been reported in the province.

“Let’s learn from Covid-19. Covid-19 has shown us that collective and concerted action works. Vaccination works. We must exercise the same vigor for children immunization to make sure that children in the country, especially in Pangasinan, do not get left behind,” Tesoro said.

According to the Word Health Organization website, measles is one of the world’s most contagious diseases. It is spread by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact or direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions.

Likewise, Rubella or German measles is a contagious disease caused by a virus. Most people who get Rubella usually have a mild illness, with symptoms that can include a low-grade fever, sore throat, and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.

Polio or poliomyelitis, on the other hand, is a highly infectious viral disease that largely affects children under 5 years old. The virus, which is transmitted by person-to-person spread, can invade the nervous system and cause paralysis.

Governor Guico thanked the DOH, its partners, and all those involved in the vaccination program.

“Let’s target zero cases. Everybody should be vaccinated. Let’s help each other for us to achieve what we need to achieve,” Governor Guico said. (GC-PangasinanPIO)