|Vice Gov. Calimlim|
Dapat sama-sama po tayo sa pagtupad ng ating mga pangarap para sa ating mga anak at sa mga susunod pang henerasyon,” the Vice Governor disclosed. In the recent inclusion of the province as one of the top 15 high risk areas in the country, Vice Gov. Calimlim urged the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to review their report. “Hindi po tayo bibigyan ng mga parangal kung hindi kasama ang peace and order.
Hindi po fair na isama ang Pangasinan dahil sa isolated cases sa dalawa o tatlong bayan samantalang 48 na bayan ang ating probinsya. Kaya hihilingin namin sa DILG na ire-examine nila ang report because this creates shadow sa impression ng mga tao,” he said that there was no untoward report gathered by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to confirm the issue. Meanwhile, Provincial Administrator Rafael F. Baraan pointed out that the province is currently wrestling against “crab mentality and traditional politics” which, according to him, is presently happening to catch media attention. “Lahat ng lugar may langaw. Kung may masarap na pagkain, maraming langaw,” Baraan said as he added that the present administration is not bothered by such brouhahas but chose to remain focus on what needs to be accomplished and done for the welfare of the majority.
When asked about the issue on Real Property Tax, Calimlim noted that the increase on RPT collection was based on the Local Government Code. “Galing po sa taas yan na unti-unting inimpose ng probinsya. Ginagawa lang po namin ang sang-ayon sa batas. We did our best to lighten the burden of the taxpayers while satisfying the requirements of the law,” he said even as he explained that graduated plan imposing re-appraising of real properties was done further noting that the tax rate in Pangasinan is lower than other neighboring provinces like La Union, Tarlac and Pampanga.
Another issue of concern tackled in the forum was the non-inclusion of the Hundred Islands in Alaminos City as among the sites for the just-concluded visit of the Miss Earth International beauty contest. “We were actually advised by the Carousel Productions (the pageant organizer) too late in the day where we were left with only three days to prepare but nonetheless, Pangasinan is always ready to host any event,” Baraan said further disclosing that the Hundred Islands was included in the list of possible itinerary which they presented to the organizer. Ma. Luisa Elduayan, Tourism Divisions Chief, cleared that the organizers were the one who chose the sites for their segments. “Actually hindi ito ang first time ng Miss Earth International pageant sa Pangasinan. They have been to the Hundred Islands three times already.\
Nagkataon lang na sabi ng organizer naghahanap sila ng site na may environmental relevance and not just tourism site kasi yun ang theme nila this year. Although we have included it in our recommendation, we have no control on the choice of Carousel Production,” Elduayan said. It can be recalled that the candidates conducted mangrove planting in Bolinao and fish seeding in Agno river located in Banaga, Bugallon during their two-day stint in Pangasinan. Another topic raised in the forum dealt on environment protection where Provincial Planning and Development Officer (PPDO) Benita Pizzaro said as one of the top priorities of the present administration. “Pangasinan was awarded twice with Likas Yaman Award because of our best practices specifically with our river clean-up drive and mangrove reforestation project,” Pizarro cited as she mentioned several other awards gained by the present administration such as the Seal of Good Housekeeping and Gawad Pamana ng Lahi which is considered as the mother of all awards. Other guests who graced the forum are officials of the PNP Dagupan who shed light on the recent state of peace and order in the city. (PIO/Ruby R. Bernardino)