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PIA Press Release

GPK Search not just a competition but now a way of life

by Miriam P. Aquino

SAN FERNANDO CITY, LA UNION (10 September) -- With the continued support to the government’s program in community development, the Regional Assessment Committee (RAC) of the Gawad Pangulo sa Kapaligiran (GPK) 2004, spearheaded by the Department of Interior and Local Government, in cooperation with the different local chief executives (LGUs) in the region together with the member-agencies of the GPK recently concluded the annual search for the cleanest and greenest LGU.

The four provinces of La Union, Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur all aimed at winning the title and prestige to be chosen as the cleanest and greenest LGU. But, as the usual competition goes, one must win over the others and luckily, Ilocos Norte made it this year to the Provincial category.

Vigan City was chosen for the city and cleanest restrooms in the city categories with only a few points from that of San Fernando City (2nd placer) and Urdaneta City being the third placer.

The city of Laoag City has been excluded from the search because of garnering the “Hall of Fame” award for winning same category for the past three consecutive years.

For Category “A” (1st to 3rd class municipality), out of the four contenders namely Agoo, La Union; Cabugao, Ilocos Sur; Bani, Pangasinan; and Batac, Ilocos Norte; Agoo has proven its worth and has preserved its’ identity. Not to mention its being a national winner.

Batac, Ilocos Norte garnered the 2nd placer, Cabugao, Ilocos Sur as 2nd and Bani, Pangasinan adjudged as 3rd placer.

Leading the Category “B” (4th to 6th class) municipality is Pinili, Ilocos Norte leaving behind its three contenders – Mapandan, Pangasinan (2nd placer); Luna, La Union (3rd placer) and Santa, Ilocos Sur (4th placer).

For the river category, it’s a battle between Balingasay river of Bolinao, Pangasinan; Chico river of Suyo, Ilocos Sur; Bolo river of Adams, Ilocos Norte; and Tapuakan river in Pugo, La Union.

For the continuous preservation of its natural river state, reforestation and crystal clear waters, Chico river was adjudged number one. Next from the rank was Balingasay River, Tapuakan River and Bolo river as the second to fourth ranks respectively.

In each category, several criterias were considered. One of the most vital part is the Eco-Solid Waste Management or the waste segregation at source adoption in the community and the efficient and effective garbage collection and disposal system, as well as the building of Materials Recovery Facility (MRF); backyard and school gardening/nursery; well-maintained green areas; reforestation and mangrove plantation; proper maintenance of dumpsites, slaughterhouses, public markets, preservation of our bodies of water; the support system which includes budgetary support, participation of the community in environmental management, clarity of functions and appropriate organizational policies and programs, and the like.

DILG Regional Director Rodoldo Biazon has always inculcated in the minds of all the LGU nominees that the search is not a way of finding faults or seeking for what is to be negated for, but a way of inspiring all the local chief executives, as well as their constituents in transforming their locality into a better place, for it not just arouse their dedication in supporting this program for the purpose of winning the contest but because it has became a commitment.

GPK transparently moved each and every individual, young and old, from the barangays to the higher LGU’s, which proves that wits and brains, abilities and of course the will to serve joined together can always lead to a progressive eye catching place and country which tourists sought for.

Win or loose, there’s nothing to be saddened for, becuase each province can stand with pride that they have all done their best. Life in each community goes on and on for in their hearts they can feel that they are all winners.

The RAC is consists of the member regional-line agencies that includes the Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Health, Philippine Information Agency, Department of Education, Department of Tourism, Presidential Management Staff and the Society of Filipino Foresters Inc., an NGO.

GPK is not just a competition/search for the people of Region 1, but rather it is a lifetime dedication – “A WAY OF LIFE.” (PIA) [top]

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