Lingayen -- Take advantage of our rich natural resources to jumpstart livelihood ventures at the grassroots level and spur investments in the province.
This was a piece of advice given by Provincial Administrator Rafael Howard Baraan during the first meeting of Investment Promotion Board (IPB) held on August 6 at Malong building conference room, here,
He urged IPB members to help organize communities to set-up big-scale economic operations while the government builds strategic infrastructure projects to bolster investments.
Among the major projects Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. seeks to accomplish as “economic legacy” of his administration are: the: Sual seaport, Lingayen airport and the Eco-Tourism Zone, also in Lingayen.
But in the meantime, the Provincial Administrator stressed, “We must build from from whatever we have.”
“Investment promotion is not just about waiting for outside entities to come in. At the end of the day, the ultimate measure of success is how we are able to translate the vision of the province (The best place to invest, work, live and raise a family) to the household level,” he said.
While the IPB is serious at planning an investment promotions offensive, the provincial government had been empowering households and sectoral groups in the province by giving them seed capital and financial assistance for their livelihood ventures with their membership to the Credit Surety Fund (CSF) program and the Livelihood Assistance program of the provincial government.
As of date, Pangasinan CSF has facilitated the release of P91million to 18 CSF-member cooperatives in the province engaged in various livelihood ventures such as rice and corn production and trading, livestock raising and piggery since it started in 2011.
The Livelihood Assistance program, on the other hand, which was launched in 2008, has already released P41million for 317 cooperatives and associations with 11,527 beneficiaries; and 33 owners of Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs).
The Provincial Administrator said that the goal of the present administration to transform each Pangasinense household to become productive is slowly being realized through the said programs.
“Every household leader should stand up with confidence to say that Pangasinan is the best place for my family – because here, we have the means (livelihood opportunities),” he said.
Recently, the province received its second award from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as most outstanding LGU in the promotion of small and medium enterprises through the BSP’s CSF program.
Meanwhile, Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator Benita Pizarro said the IBP is currently updating the Pangasinan Investment Code of 2003 which will be renamed the Pangasinan Investment and Incentives Code of 2014.
Said Code is expected to accelerate the sound development of the province through developing the capabilities to lure investors to do business in the province; and promote investment expansion and diversification of environmentally-safe industries.