Pangasinan board supports SOPA programs, says vice-governor
By Danny O Sagun
Dagupan City (26 February) -- The sangguniang panlalawigan is closely working with the administration of Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. for the implementation of programs and projects spelled out in the governor's recent State of the Province Address (SOPA).
Vice-Gov. Marlyn P. Agabbas said that majority of the programs mentioned by the governor are doable except for some "ambitious" projects that need huge funding.
Guesting at the second KBP forum this morning at the Philippine Information Agency office here, Agabbas said that the provincial government has enough money to fund the projects for health, livelihood, education, tourism, peace and order and others mentioned by the provincial executive in his SOPA.
She noted that except for some outside help, the province was able to "transform" the provincial Capitol into a prime tourist destination with the renovation of buildings at the compound and maintenance of the surroundings. The typhoon-damaged Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center and the Sison auditorium are also undergoing repair.
On projects involving huge funding like the planned international and national airports and seaport, she said the province was "waiting for the rainfall to come." She noted though that the province already began necessary work like provision for a fence of the Lingayen airfield which is being mulled to become a national airport.
The province has an annual budget of some P1.4 billion with more than P500 million going to personal services. The balance is used for the delivery of basic services and implementation of vital programs and projects.
She said that the province asked Land Bank to suspend temporarily the debt-servicing of the province's in order to continue rehabilitation work on damages wrought by typhoon Cosme last year.
On legislations being considered in the provincial board, she said that fees at the 14 provincial government-operated hospitals are being reviewed to make them affordable and make the province a true "service-provider." A study is being made to determine whether a patient is either paying or non-paying.
She also said that an environment code is being studied at the committee level to address environmental concerns as well as possible mining explorations. She noted that the province is rich in mineral resources. (PIA Pangasinan) [top]