By Mortz Ortigoza
BINALONAN – The race in drawing investors to boost the local economy did not spare this Northern Luzon town after its mayor chalked up SM Save More, the grocery affiliate of SM Prime Holdings, Inc (SMPHI) to put shop here next year.
Mayor Ramon V. Guico III said that SMPHI decided to invest here after the local government built a huge facility that the Henry Sy owned company can lease for millions of pesos a year.
“Dala ko iyong SM Save More and a few restaurants pupunta na dito, “he stressed.
He said the upper part of the edifice will be for the restaurants to rent where several of them would come from Manila.
Aside from bagging SM food here, Guico has been aggressively transforming this first class municipality in his second term as a clean and green garden municipality, housing areas, and sports hub to cater for the people in and outside of this town.
These infrastructures streak have been part of his plan to make this burgeoning town an educational haven and gateway for people in and outside of here after the municipality owned University of Eastern Pangasinan (UEP) became a university during his first term as mayor.
His administration has been constructing a sport facility at the back of the UEP.
“Iyong sa likod football field tapos hopefully maglalagay ako sa South Central ng semi—Olympic size (swimming) pool. For competition para madeveloped iyong sports sa mga bata,” he stressed.
He is also developing an open tennis court, covered tennis court, and club house as come-on for would be tennis players and those aficionados of the sport.
He cited that the sports complex would usher for the Northern Luzon Collegiate Athletic Association (NLCAA) where schools would hold their games here.
Guico said all the ideas of these endeavors were conceived in his office.
The 24 villages’ town had been awarded in the past "The Most Beautiful and Cleanest Town in the Philippines (1968), “Most Beautiful Plaza and Parks", the “Urban Model Community” and “Outstanding Community Development Model”.
“Oo, walang nagpaplano dito hindi kami nag –commission. Ito lang sa aking humble office”.
He cited too the aesthetics and embellishments he infused on the spruced up garden and walking pavement accentuated by brown bricks and century old acacia trees, benches, Balikbayan Hall, basketball court that are all spit distance to the historic Sto. Nino Parish Church.
“Siempre may mga monuments kaming itatayo parang showing the local heroes of the town, Rizal’s monument, iyong Bonifacio’s monument. Sa Rizal already erected sa Northern Central, si Bonifacio South Central’.