Relentless work at Capitol bearing fruit
By Danny O. Sagun
Lingayen, Pangasinan (14 February) -- The province is already reaping benefits from the innovative programs introduced by Gov. Amado T. Espino in his early days in office.
"I am grateful that our province mates, and our local leaders, have learned to appreciate, and are happy to see the fruits of our work," Gov. Espino said in his State of the Province Address (SOPA) delivered before some 7,000 guests and well-wishers during the traditional "courtesy call," last February 9 at the Capitol plaza. The governor cited the significant accomplishments of his administration in pursuit of making Pangasinan the "best place to invest, work, live and raise a family."
The governor reported that patients preferred to seek medical services at the government hospitals after efforts have been made to rehabilitate and upgrade all 14 government-owned hospitals.
Espino said that the construction of a 12-station dialysis center at the provincial hospital in Bolingit, San Carlos City will further boost the provincial government's health care program recognized by the European Commission (EU) which he said was " a rare feat in the Philippines."
Pangasinan is top Phil Health card provider in the Ilocos region and one of the largest in the country, having enrolled a total of 129,149 families.
"We will not stop until all indigent families in our province are enrolled in PhilHealth, regardless of their political color or party affiliation, the governor assured."
More plans are underway to include the establishment of the Botikang Panlalawigan to ensure the steady supply of cheaper but quality generic medicines, the provision of a two-way radio communications network for all barangays to institute a system of communication referrals and others.
For quality education, the province has recorded a major breakthrough in the history of the country's learning system with the production of uniform teacher guidebooks both for public elementary and high school levels provincewide.
Aside from the rehabilitation and renovation of all agricultural, fisheries and veterinary facilities, the provincial government invested P150 million in fertilizer subsidy in a bid to increase farm production.
The major facelift at the Capitol and its environs which transformed the whole area into a world-class tourism park has bolstered domestic tourism and, at the same time, offered a new destination for foreign tourists.
Other major projects he cited in his report were the upgrading of the Lingayen airport and the conversion of some 300 hectares of foreshore land into an eco-tourism zone.
He vowed to be "firm and decisive in doing what it takes to provide you all with a provincial government that works, and a provincial government that cares." (PIA Pangasinan/PIO) [top]