Sunday, November 29, 2015
By APRIL M. MONTES
BOLINAO – The Philippine Navy through Naval Task Force 40, in partnership with other government agencies and the local government of Bolinao, recently conducted a dialogue with the local fisherfolks in this town.
Lt. Archie Adanza, information officer of the Philippine Navy, said the activity imparted to local fisherfolks ways of mitigating sea incidents during inclement weather and shared to them best practices of survival at sea. The activity also capacitated them as peer responder during sea incidents.
Adanza said the dialogue with fisherfolks also seeks to synchronize inter-agency planning, operations and efforts for maritime security; maintain fishermen network; and promote the Navy’s role to the general populace.
“This is just the start of promoting awareness on the safety of fisherfolks at sea. We will also conduct the same activity in other coastal barangays in north Luzon to know the concerns of local fishermen that will help us in crafting programs that will benefit them later,” he said.
During the onslaught of Typhoon Kabayan, it is the municipality of Bolinao where the bulk of missing fishermen came from prompting the Naval Task Force 40 to select the area as a venue for the information drive.
“I encouraged the fisherfolks to save and to have an alternative source of income so they don’t always have to sail at sea, especially during bad weather conditions,” he said adding that maritime resources should be taken cared of so fishermen don’t have to go far to catch fish.
In a message, Bolinao Mayor Alfonso Celeste urged fisherfolks to follow the pieces of advice shared by speakers from the Navy, Coast Guard, BFAR and the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (FARMC).
DAGUPAN CITY – The city’s main thoroughfares will be closed to traffic on December 4 to give way to the “Happy City Parade” along the downtown loop that will officially kick off city’s 2015 City Fiesta Celebration.
Public Order and Safety Office Chief Michael C. Hernando said the parade will start at 2:00 p.m. but the traffic rerouting scheme will start as early as 11:00 in the morning of the same day.
Participants will assemble at Burgos and Guilig Streets before the start of the parade which will pass through Perez Boulevard, M.H. Del Pilar, A.B. Fernandez Avenue and winds up at the city plaza.
Under the traffic rerouting plan drawn up by POSO, publlic utility vehicles from the west will turn left at the corner of Burgos extension-Amado Street exiting at the corner of Amado-Tapuac before turning right and back to their destination.
At the same time, mini-buses will take a u-turn at the bypass corner road between Perez Boulevard and Burgos extension.
Big trucks/buses shall turn right at Tapuac-Lucao old De Venecia Highway exiting at the corner of Calasiao-old De Venecia highway extension.
Meanwhile, PUVs from the south will negotiate a u-turn at the former Dominion Terminal Compound in Mayombo and back to their destination.
ROSALES– Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from Pangasinan can now have ease of access to various business services with the establishment of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Negosyo Center strategically located in three towns in the province.
Florante Leal, director of the DTI-Regional Office 1, said the business center, which is now operational in three areas in the province such as Alaminos City, Dagupan City and Rosales town, aims to bring government services closer to MSMEs and promote job generation and inclusive growth.
MSMEs are very important in Philippine’s economy because they comprise 99.6 percent of the population of the business sector in the country, Leal said.
“Aside from their population in the business sector, they also employ 70 percent of the labor force but in terms of their value added or contribution to the gross domestic products of the economy, MSMEs contributes only 32 percent,” he said stressing that something has to be done to help MSMEs improve their productivity.
Leal said at least 120 negosyo centers were already established in the country as of November 20 this year.
Saturday, November 28, 2015
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
SUAL –The mayor here told media men that the new investor for the 600-900 megawatts (MW) coal-fired power plant will not be short changing this town unlike what Team Energy has been doing.
|DUPED? Sual Mayor Bing Arcinue interviewed by media|
men on the the tax rip-off's brouhaha created by Team
Mayor Roberto Arcinue said that the1,218 MW power plant deprived the public coffer here by P331 million it owed as real property tax (RPT) after it paid P69 million only.
He said Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. (TAOEDC) president and chief executive officer Francisco Viray promised him that after the 600- 900 MW power plant starts operation it will religiously pay the RPT of this mountain nestled rustic town.
“I told him in case they do otherwise I will not sign the construction permit of their company. But he (Viray) told me there was no problem for that because they will follow the contract”.
Arcinue explained that a hypothetical P1 million RPT where P500, 000 would be divided by P250, 000 for the School Board of this town and the other P250,000 for the School Board of the province of Pangasinan. The other P500,000, he cited, will be divided by 25%, 35% 40% to Barangay Bacquioen (the host of the power plant), this town, and the province, respectively.
The mayor said TAOEDC will give employment and other benefits that will redound to some kind of economic development here.
As goodwill after the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement last November 22 at the town hall here, TAOEDC will give a grant of P110-million for priority projects here like education, health, environment and agriculture and a P10-million for the host barangay.
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
POZORRUBIO – The chief of police (COP) here did not stop to amaze peace and order spectators about his series of innovations in fighting criminals.
|INNOVATIVE. Countless laudable and innovative projects of P/Chief Inspector |
Ryan Manongdo that are worth emulating by police stations all over the country.
From the Project Bando, Papa Bear, LAMBAT, ESPADA, Sanib Pwersa, Pulis Nino, and R.A.Ks, Police Chief Inspector Ryan Manongdo is into Project Selfie (PS).
PS is where foot police patrollers wear a camera installed helmet to record activities in the areas of this first class town.
“Sa tulong ng Project Selfie ng Pozurrobio police nakikita iyong actual na nangyayari sa isang situation. Agad din itong namo-monitor na gamit ang isang application sa cellphone,” the former math teacher turned police officer said.
Manongdo, an alumnus of the Philippine National Police Academy, said PS aims to support the ongoing Oplan Lambat-Sibat of the PNP through recording of various crime prevention activities. To achieve this, he said, the following are the objectives of “Selfie”:
”To record actual activities of police personnel during the operation, to protect the personnel from harassment, and to document important visual informations that have value”.
He cited that the camera did not only protect the police when they are on patrol or serving a search warrant or warrant of arrest on the fabricated counter-charges of the culprits but could capture the plate number of the vehicle they are pursuing, the face of the malefactor, and could be used in the coming Yuletide Season and the May 2016 election where crime spikes.
“Iyong police alam niyang nag vi-video siya so behave siya. The community alam din nila na they are being documented they also behave. So respect begets respect”.
Manongdo, a Special Action Force’s trained commando, was profusely thankful to the people and non-government organization (NGO) that keep supporting his laudable projects that they believe can be emulated not only by the police stations in the 44 towns and four cities’ Pangasinan but all the police forces all over the country.
The COP said one set of the helmet camera cost P6.500.
Friday, November 27, 2015
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
Despite having no opponent for the mayoralty race of the burgeoning Urdaneta City, Mayor Amadeo "Bobom" G.E. Perez IV city has been a hot staple among political kibitzers about how close the tussles among its bets for vice mayors and the race for the city council.
Three candidates vie for the vice mayoralty while 18 aspirants eyed the council of the bagsakan (entrepot) city.
|2 Philippine cops tagged in ‘hulidap’ arrested, 7 others hunted PHOTO CREDIT DZRHNEWS.COM|
The shoo-in that being eyed to land for the Top 3 in the council, according to a political insider, are the wife of Cristino Naguit Jr, Chairman of the Philippine Gaming Corporation (PagCor) (Mrs. Naguit is the sister of Mayor Perez and the daughter of Taiwan de facto Ambassador Amadito Perez, Jr.), a certain Parayno, the Sibuyas (Onion) Queen of the bagsakan who supplys the crop to different provinces and cities in and outside Pangasinan, and a daughter of a businessman.
The daughter was heard to boast, according to the insider, three hundred pesos per indigent in every village come election time.
“If there are 1000 poor in a village that is already P30,000. Urdaneta has 34 barangays thus that is a staggering P10.2 million,” he cited.
But one of the kibitzers disagreed. He said the daughter could not make in the Magic 10.
“She kept promising people in the past but did not honour her promise. In a speaking engagement in a village where she crowed her “vaunted” scholarship program to the Unwashed of the Society, a parent stood up and confront her that his son and the children of other parents who availed of the scholarship could not finished their college there because of the prohibitive miscellaneous and other the school bills”.
“Libre nga tuition, sobrang mahal naman ang miscellaneous doon sa college,” quoted by the kibitzer to me.
I caught the middle of the consultation of the Committee on Public Order and Safety of the House of Representatives on the “PNP Modernization Bill” with hundreds of members of the Philippine National Police held last Thursday in Lingayen, Pangasinan.
Major concerns asked by Congressmen Romy Acop, Sam Pagdilao, and Pol Bataoil, who are not only retired police officials but alumni of the Philippine Military Academy, were the following: "
1) If active members of the Philippine National Police wanted that their ranking titles be reverted to the then Philippines Constabulary (PC).
It means a Senior Inspector would be called as Captain, etc.
I asked the non officers who were mostly SP04 (Senior Police Officer-4) who were near my seat if they were amenable that a Police Officer 1 would be called “Constable” while an SP04 with red six stripes and a star in the middle will be called MSGT or Master Sergeant just like in the military. Most of them did not like the idea. “It could not happen because the PNP was created as civilian in nature while those military ranks were created, well, for military purpose,” an SPO4 answered me.
“I thought you don’t want to trade off the SPO-4 or P01 rank because of the word “Officer” attached to it when in the real sense you are not officer like the Inspector or Superintendent (Lieutenant or Lt. Colonel in the military),’ I jocularly told him.
2) Congressman Pagdilao, who is running for senator under presidential front runner Grace Poe, told the police men that in their study in the proposed law a police man who committed a crime can only be relieved from his duty and restricted to the station by his chief of police or commander. “During the time of the PC a commander could even throw to jail his unscrupulous subordinate,” Pagdilao recalled.
He told the police that it is a disgrace before the eyes of the public that a police offender who was restricted “escaped” from his station. “Who among you here are in favour to return the disciplinary power of the police commander to jail his underling?” the former general asked the mostly non-officer attendees.
Son of a gun, nobody raised their hands. They want the status quo. Is this a sign that even members of the police do not want a tough measure to make them toe the line?"
3) Dagupan City’s Chief of Police Cris Abrahano, a PNPA graduate, told the congressmen that since the number of police retirees have been growing and could eclipsed the active personnel, the proposed amendment should emulate what the American labour force have been doing to its pension system: Get a portion of their monthly salary and put them in blue chips (Like Ayala Corporation, Emperador Inc, others - MCO) so they earned and could help pay the pension of the retirees whose funding has been incessantly included by Congress in the yearly appropriation of the PNP budget.
Cris said this could help the government because the bulk of the appropriation in the PNP usually goes to the personnel services.
4) Binmaley Chief of Police Supt. Mona Asis bared her apprehension that every time a police man was sued in line of duty, the poor cop shouldered all his lawyer’s expenses. Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil shared the sentiments of Mona and even told everybody that when he was the spokesman of the PNP in the national capital he was sued even he just spoke in behalf of the members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) who were accused by an interest group. “I helped them looked for funds so we can pay our counsels”. Until the time the case was dismissed, Bataoil said he was prejudiced “Kasi generals na ang mga classmates (PMA) ko, ako colonel pa rin. Two- star general na sila, ako colonel pa rin”. Bataoil eventually became a three star general and then ran for a congressional post in Pangasinan. Bataoil (PMA ’76) and Acop (PMA ’70) and a lawyer, are on their second term in Congress. Bataoil is running unopposed in the 2nd District of Pangasinan.
5) Former Pangasinan Provincial Director and Retired Senior Supt. Sonny Verzosa asked the committee to include in the budget the Tanod (night guards) and their administrative control put under the PNP “just like the control of the PNP to the chief executives of the local government units (LGUs) but the supervision is still with the mayor or governor”.
Congressman Acop said that it is ideal but he feared that in case they (tanod) are included in national budget, other auxiliary workers in other departments of the government would insist to be included, too. “The government could not afford to fund them if they want to be included”.
After the consultation, In a huddle I told Sonny Verzosa (PMA ’83), who run for the mayoralty of Lingayen, Pangasinan, that his proposal was sound because the Tanod are multiplier force in the fight against criminals.
“The government is just indifferent for them to be included in the budget, but when the peace and order nose dives, the government would give credence to your proposal by even not including those other auxiliaries,” I told him.
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at P’nan Biggest News. You can send comments too at email@example.com)
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
CALASIAO – Presidential front runner Senator Grace Poe said that residency is different to citizenship after a fourth case was filed against her by a petitioner who questioned her citizenship and her lacked of 10 years residency before the 2016 election.
“Ang citizenship at residency hindi magka pareho iyan. Sapagkat you can be considered a resident of a country without necessarily being from that country. Lahat po iyan ang nasasagot namin (Citizenship and residency are different. You can be considered a resident of a country without necessarily being from that country. All of those charges my camp have rebutted),” Poe answered when asked lately here by Northern Watch what former University of the East Dean Amado Valdez argued on his petition at the Commission on Election.
Valdez filed a petition last November 2 at the Comelec asking the election body to nullify Poe’s candidacy for the presidency because she is not a natural born Filipino and lacks the necessary 10 years residency’s requirement before the 2016 presidential race.
“Strictly speaking, the 10-year period of residency must be counted from Oct. 20, 2010, when she renounced her American citizenship. Between July 7, 2006, and Oct. 20, 2010, she owed dual allegiance to the Philippines and the US, thus still ineligible to hold public office,” Valdez told media men in Manila.
The Philippine Constitution requires a presidential candidate to be not only a natural born Filipino, a registered voter, must be able to read and write, 40 years of age at the day of the election but must have resided in the Philippines ten years before the election is held
But Poe’s spokesman Rex Gatchalian pooh-poohed the former dean’s petitioned and banked instead on her availing the Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003 or Republic Act 9225.
“The express provisions of this law substantiate the fact that she was deemed not to have lost her natural born citizenship when she reacquired her Filipino citizenship. The act of repatriation is not naturalization,” he said.
The petition of Valdez against Poe was the 4th after former senator Francisco “Kit” Tatad, Government Service and Insurance System chief legal counsel Estrella Elamparo, and De La Salle University political science professor Antonio Contreras questioned her qualification at the Comelec.
The main points of Poe's arguments however as aired by her legal supporters against the petitioners were:
The citizenship and residency issues should be taken up separately; she complied with the citizenship and residency requirement for a senator; she was already a resident of the Philippines in May 2005, longer than what she indicated in her Certificate of Candidacy; she (together with her 3 kids) became a Filipino citizen (dual citizen) in 2006; she renounced her American citizenship on October 21, 2010, when she took an oath in Philippine government; she re-affirmed this renunciation in 2011 before a vice consul at the United States embassy in Manila; the US State Department “approved” this in February 2012 but her last US passport and the approved document showed she “self expatriated” herself on October 21, 2010.
Lingayen – Hundreds of athletes from various private universities and colleges in the region gathered together at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center (NRSCC), here, for the 2015 Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) Region 1 Collegiate Games hosted by the local government unit (LGU) of Pangasinan from November 26-28.
Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr, who served as keynote speaker during the sports spectacle’s opening program yesterday, November 26, asked the collegiate student-athletes “to practice humility in winning and in accepting defeat” as he reiterated the importance of discipline and fair play in sports.
“Your performance as athletes is not only measured by physical strength, but with how you develop strength emotionally, morally and spiritually,” Gov. Espino stressed.
Athletes from PRISAA chapters in Metro Dagupan, Metro San Carlos, Pangasinan I, Pangasinan II, La Union, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte are billeted at the NRSCC dormitories.
The NRSCC was built in time for the province’s hosting of the Palarong Pambansa 1995 where Governor Espino, then Provincial Police Office Chief, led a Task Force to oversee the conduct of the national sporting activity.
Since 2007, major rehabilitation works have been initiated by the Espino administration to upgrade NRSCC which is now acknowledged as “a world-class sports facility and a favorite venue for regional and national sporting events and activities.”
The Senate has passed on third reading the proposed 2016 national budget worth Php3.002 Trillion.
On Thursday night, Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance and sponsor of the proposed budget, along with 13 other senators present on session voted to approve the budget on third and final reading following 3 whole days of deliberations.
“I thank my fellow senators for their support and cooperation in the timely approval of the budget,” said Legarda.
“I am proud of what we have accomplished, especially with the new allocations and provisions we introduced. For the first time, we are funding the pension of World War II veterans. We have also augmented the budget of state universities and colleges (SUCs) to ensure the continuous upgrade of our education system and we increased the budget of the Department of Education (DepEd) to support the implementation of the K-12 program,” she explained.
The Senate supported the House of Representatives’ allocation of Php4.773 Billion for the payment of the total administrative disability (TAD) pension for surviving spouses of deceased World War II veterans and partial payment for TAD pension for living post-war veterans who are at least 80 years of age as of 2016.
The 2016 DepEd budget worth Php411.48 Billion is more than 15% of its budget for 2015 because the implementation of the senior high school curriculum under the K-12 program begins next year. Thus, the budget includes allocation for construction of classrooms and hiring of additional teachers.
The Senate also increased allocation for SUCs, adding Php4.27 Billion, in support of our SUCs in their research programs and in building needed infrastructure. The total budget for SUCs is Php37.6 Billion.
Legarda also introduced provisions in the 2016 national budget that would ensure the integration of disaster and climate resilience, environmental and heritage conservation, and sustainability in the programs of various government agencies.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero sees the need to expand the government's conditional cash transfer (CCT) program to include a livelihood package for beneficiaries and transform the flagship poverty alleviation program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) into an economic program.
Incorporating the "panghanapbuhay" (livelihood) component in the CCT, also called the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), will equip recipients with skills and training to help them become self-sufficient and wean away from government dole-outs.
"Gusto naming dagdagan ng 'P' yung 4Ps: Panghanapbuhay. Dapat dumating ang panahon na kaya nang tumayo sa sarili niyang paa iyong CCT beneficiary," Escudero said.
The veteran lawmaker said the DSWD could provide capital for small businesses and collaborate with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the training of beneficiaries.
"Let's just not give them fish; let's teach them how to fish by giving them capital and skills training. That should be part of 4Ps," said Escudero, frontrunner in various pre-election surveys for vice president.
"Dapat dumating ang panahon, na kapag natapos na ang programa, kaya na nila tumayo sa sarili nilang paa," he explained.
Currently the program gives out a monthly stipend of up to P1,400 to each family beneficiary provided their children regularly attend school and the mothers, if pregnant, seek pre- and post-natal care, as part of government's efforts to improve the health, nutrition and education of children from the poorest sector of society.
Beneficiaries of the 4Ps are selected through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), which identifies and locates poor households in every community.
As of August, there were 4,353,597 families under the CCT program, including 570,056 indigenous households. Next year, enrollees will be 4.62 million families, or 184,000 more than this year's beneficiaries.
Social protection and economic empowerment programs make up the bulk of the proposed P104.1 billion earmarked for the DSWD in 2016, two-thirds of this, or about P62.7 billion, will go to the development program.
Escudero said expanding the 4Ps program has always been part of the agenda of Partido Galing at Puso, as he dismissed as pure "black propaganda" reports circulating in the provinces that he and presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe plan to discontinue the program if they are elected to office.
By VENUS MAY H.SARMIENTO
PASAY CITY - The Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) was unusually empty. Business offices were closed. Not one student was seen sporting a uniform. It was a holiday in Metro Manila and a climate of revelry and excitement blanketed the Metropolis. Needless to say, it’s the APEC big day!
For most residents in Manila, APEC may have been associated with inconvenience. Or it also meant a week-long vacation to tourism hubs in the regions. For business establishments, it meant a 200 percent mark-up in sales. For security personnel, it meant nightmare. But for the Host Media Liaison Officers (HMLO), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC meant ‘history unfolding before our very eyes.’
The HMLOs are employees of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) under the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) who were tapped by the Media Operations Committee of the National Organizing Council to handle the nitty-gritty and needs of the international media.
Each of the 20 HMLOs from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao were given an economy (that’s how APEC calls the member-countries) to handle. And we are not just talking about the delegates of economy, we are talking about the media group-- the group responsible to communicate to their economies, a blow-by-blow account of APEC activities.
While many of us are used to handling Presidential visits in the regions, the idea of having to deal with the international media who hold various norms and who speak different languages, escalated the emotions of everyone involved.
Barely two months before the APEC summit, a memorandum summoning the PIA employees (including this humble writer) to attend a briefing on APEC was sent to the information centers in the provinces. Trainings on courtesies, protocols and right decisions became our breakfast and lunch.
As the days progressed, we found ourselves meeting almost every two weeks. On the APEC month, we had to deal with each other’s faces as we were billeted together for two straight weeks.
As the social media capital, our colleagues knew that we will be utilizing social media for the day-to day events. Thus, techies among us coined the term “APECserye” to be used in every posting.
Anxiety, frustration, tiredness, sleepless nights, homesickness , counterparts freaking out (oh yes!), isolation (paging Emver) and early morning and late-night meetings characterized our two weeks. For a while we learned how to deal with tension and got used to arranging bilateral events, summits of chief executives, surprise events and spur of the moment meetings and guidelines.
Inconvenience comes with hosting, but it can also be rewarding. The mere thought of being able to give a helping hand to our country while hosting the biggest international economic event was a humbling experience.
Standing just 15 feet away from 21 economic leaders (that includes our very own, of course!), seeing them in the flesh and staying with all of them under one roof, is a story we will not get tired of telling to our children and our children’s children.
We had our share of emotional ups and downs, but at the end of the day, we want to believe that we have delivered the Filipino brand of hospitality to the world.
DAGUPAN CITY – Cash prizes await exhibitors participating in the Agri Fair 2015 slated on December 9-10 at the Senior Citizen’s Park when the city celebrates its 401 years as a parish with a fiesta on December 4 to 31 this year on the theme ‘Happy City, Happy Family’.
The exhibition will start at 8:00 am of December 9 until 6:00 pm of December 10 and will feature an array of organically-grown products from the different public schools as well as exhibitors coming from nearby towns and provinces.
Accordingly, regular exhibitors and all “Gulayan sa Paaralan” exhibitors are eligible to join the search for the Best Exhibitor. Each exhibitor will be judged based on the following criteria and point distribution: Booth design, 30 points; staffing, 20 points; adherence to theme, 20 points; over-all appeal, 15 points; ecological awareness, 10 points; and entrepreneurship, 5 points for a total of 100 points.
Prizes for the winners are as follows: 1st place, P10,000; 2nd place, P7,000; 3rd place, P5,000 and a consolation prize of P1,000.
Awarding of prizes to winners will be in the afternoon of December 10 at the Senior Citizen’s Park.
City Agriculture Emma J. Molina said the fair is in line with the ‘Pagsasarili Program’ of Mayor Belen T. Fernandez which encourages children in schools to take part in attaining sustainability and food security in the community through school gardening by using new technologies like aquaponics and hydroponics.
In adherence to green technology, the city is encouraging all exhibitors to use paper-based products in wrapping their products to buyers.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
BOLINAO – Gubernatorial bet Mark O. Cojuangco told recently people here that he will use his knowledge and capacity to bring jobs in Pangasinan.
|Former Congressman Mark Cojuangco|
The province, according to the recent report of the Department of Social Welfare & Development, has been reeling into alarming unemployment rates and glaring number of most poor people in Region 1.
“Gusto ko pong patamisin sa mata ng namumuhanan ang ating probinsiya para dito po sila dumating, dito po sila mamumuhunan, magtayo ng negosyo, ng mga pabrika, ng mga industry para po sa ating probinsiya (I want to make Pangasinan attractive before the eyes of investors so they would come and put shops here),” he stressed.
Assistant Regional Director Marilyn Peralta of the DSWD told reporters here last month that out of the 199,000 beneficiaries of the 4Ps or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), a poverty reduction program of the government, 124,091 families or 62% of the 199,000 are in Pangasinan.
If each of the cited families has an average of five members then there would be a total of 620,455 individuals who are either unemployed or earning less than P200 a day in the huge province.
Cojuangco, the scion of the patriarch of the mammoth San Miguel Corporation, said the influx of investors would bring better jobs and decent life for pangasinenses.
“Hinde na po kailangan lumayo pa at pumunta pa kung saan saan (You do not need to migrate to other places)”.
The yawning poverty and the alarming unemployment in the province have been blamed by critics to the initiative-less administration of Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr.
“Its indifference can be seen on the 2015 provincial budget where P1 million was only allocated to social service while it scandalously appropriated P50.4 million and P25 million to public affairs or “deodorizer fund” and repairs of the Capitol ground and park, respectively,” editorialized lately by this paper.