Monday, February 16, 2015

Dagupan City All Set, Ready for Duterte's Federalism Forum

By Manny Piñol

Dagupan City - Pangasinan's grievance over two major power plants producing more than 1,500 megawatts in a province which suffers from power outages just like the others, is expected to take center stage in the Federalism Forum set Feb. 18 at the Lyceum-Northwestern University here.
PRO FEDERALISM:  LNU President and former Pangasinan Vice Gov. Gonzalo Duque displays the Federalism poster which will greet Mayor Duterte when he visits Dagupan City Feb. 18. Also in photo, journalist Mortz Ortigoza (left) and Duterte's supporter Rene Concordia of Laguna.

Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte brings his federalism advocacy to Northern Luzon when he speaks before members of Pangasinan's academe and representatives of the different sectors in the 3,000-seat capacity air conditioned LNU Gym.

LNU President Dr. Gonzalo Duque, former vice governor of Pangasinan who is hosting and organizing the event, last night said the Federalism Forum comes at the time when Pangasinenses are asking why a province which hosts two major power plants still suffers from power outages.

"Not only do we suffer from power outages, the province is also not getting a fair share from the facilities which are producing over 1,500 megawatts," said Duque who has long advocated for Federalism.
The two power plants in Pangasinan are the Sual Power Station, a coal-fired plant which produces 1,200 MW, and the San Roque Hydro Power Plant which produces 345 MW.

Local officials in Pangasinan have complained that while the establishment of the two power plants resulted in environmental concerns in their areas, the local government units barely get any share from the huge income of the facilities.

Duque, who is also deeply involved in community journalism writing a column in Pangasinan's top weekly "The Sunday Punch," said the people of the province would like to hear from Mayor Duterte how a federal system of government would benefit the country.

Mayor Duterte, who has launched the "Listening Tour" with a swing of cities in Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon, including Puerto Princesa, Palawan, is also expected to share his experiences in the campaign against drugs, now a major problem in this province with a population of almost 2.7 million.

After the Federalism Forum, Mayor Duterte will join members of the different Rotary Clubs of Pangasinan for lunch and later meet members of Dagupan's active press corps.

Duque, who is also a lawyer who graduated from San Beda like Mayor Duterte, said he will personally ask the Davao City Mayor to listen to the clamor of the people all over the country to consider the Presidency in 2016.

"We need somebody who has a clear agenda of governance," Duque said referring to Duterte's federalism advocacy to address corruption in governance, the Bangsamoro problem and the inequitable distribution of the country's money and resources.

From Dagupan City, Mayor Duterte and his group move up to Baguio City, the capital of the Cordillera Autonomous Region, which is one of only two autonomous regions established in the country.

On Monday, Mayor Duterte will be in Angeles City, Pampanga.

The "Listening Tour," which was launched in Butuan City a month ago, is also expected to give Mayor Duterte an opportunity to gauge people's sentiments amid the call for the colorful Davao City mayor to consider the Presidency in 2916.

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