‘Golf Course, Not Black Sand Mining in Lingayen’ - Baraan
Gov. Amado T. Espino (Extreme Right)
Provincial Information Office
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – Would be journalists should learn early on to "see the big picture" and not to concentrate on isolated and unrelated cases. Thus said Provincial Administrator Rafael Baraan in a dialogue with campus journalists who earlier attended a five-day (October 22-26) convention of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) in Dagupan City.
"That way," Baraan said, "these talented students could have a clearer view of development projects being undertaken by the government."
In a dialogue with campus editors during the annual Luzonwide journalism skills training and workshop, Baraan also asked the campus editors to remove bias in their writings, and be wary of some politicians with hidden agenda.
“Be always open-minded, not one-sided,” the Pangasinan official told the campus writers, as he informed the group that the provincial government is undertaking various development projects to sustain Pangasinan’s growth momentum.
The incumbent administration is making Pangasinan an attractive “investment and tourism destination,” citing the on-going development of a 300-hectare economic zone in four coastal barangays. The campus editors visited this place as part of their itinerary.
Baraan also told the students that plans are on track for a seaport in Sual, with phase-one about to be completed. He also noted that the provincial government is expanding the runway of the Lingayen airport to accommodate commercial flights.
“There’s no black sand mining here. We only had the bad mineral elements extracted and replaced them with garden soil so that carpet grass of the golf course will grow and have the right kind of greenery in that particular area,” Baraan clarified.
Baraan also mentioned recent economic and social development programs. Local and foreign investors are cashing in to develop a world-class, 18-hole golf course on a 30-hectare area, within the 300-hectare eco-tourism zone where other investment locators are set to establish tourism-related investment projects.
“We’re only waiting for the issuance of the ECC (environment compliance certificate) by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, then full development follows,” Baraan said.
The 300-hectare area was awarded to the provincial government in 1998 through a proclamation order by then President Fidel V. Ramos who envisioned it as a burgeoning economic zone.
The plan gathered dust, however, during the watch of the previous provincial administration for nine years, not realizing the development potentials of the area.
“Sadly, this same group of political detractors that snubbed the economic zone proposal is moving mountains to derail on-going development,” Baraan declared.
“But, we remain steadfast and we will continue solidifying our economic gains,” he added.
The provincial government, led by Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. started reaping positive results since 2008. The government topped other provincial governments in coastal resources management for three consecutive years, bagging the Hall of Fame award in 2010. It also was conferred the Likas Yaman award for two consecutive years for environmental protection (2011 to 2012).
Pangasinan has received more national recognition in local governance, notably as leader in Universal PhilHealth Coverage, Seal of Good Housekeeping, and as one of the five Best Performing Provinces in the country as adjudged by the Department of the Interior and Local Government for 2010 and 2011, Baraan disclosed.
The province was also cited as the Regional Best LGU Millennium Development Goal Implementer (2010-2011), Regional Best Practice Award for Hospital Management 2010, Best Practices for massive river clean-up (2011), and on October 30, Governor Espino will receive from the DILG the award for the province of Pangasinan as Regional Champion in the Pamana ng Lahi for good governance (2012).
At the national level, Pangasinan is finalist as one Most Business-Friendly LGU award. (PIO)RO