By: Hilda Austria
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—Governor Amado Espino III on Thursday underscored the decreased unemployment rate, road projects, hospital buildings and other infrastructure projects and improved healthcare services, among others, in his third State of the Province Address (SOPA) here.
Espino said to ensure the continuous exchange of services and goods in the province, his administration, with the aid of the national government, built roads and bridges.
“Through the Provincial Engineering Office (PEO), the provincial government spent PHP550.35 million from 2016 to 2018 to renovate and maintain the province’s provincial roads,” he said.
Of the total amount, PHP100.70 million was used for provincial bridges in all the six districts of the province, measuring a total of 4,035.89 linear meters while the PHP349.43 million was utilized for concreting or asphalting or rehabilitating a total of 182.09 kilometers of barangay and municipal roads.
Espino added that barangay bridges, measuring 649 linear meters, were also constructed, maintained, or rehabilitated, costing some PHP29.89 million.
Other infrastructure projects, he said, were funded by different national government agencies (NGAs) such as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) through its Conditional Matching Grant to Provinces (CMGP) worth PHP167 million in 2017; PHP72.31 million in 2018; and PHP110 million this year.
The CMGP from DILG will be used for the concreting of Tayug-Natividad Road, in the town of Natividad and the concreting of Basista-Urbiztondo Road, Phase II in Basista, Espino said.
“Because of our speedy and remarkable implementation of the projects funded under CMGP, we were awarded number one in ‘Construction Progress sa CMGP-KALSADA 2016-2017’ and we were also given the Certificate of Recognition because of our effective way of procurement and rehabilitation of the roads under CMGP 2017-2018,” he noted.
The Provincial Development Council has also endorsed to the Regional Development Council 44 road projects and 16 non-road projects from July 16 to December 2018 to be part of the Department of Tourism- Department of Public Works and Highways (DOT-DPWH) Tourism Convergence Program. Espino noted.
He said with the help of the Department of Health-Health Facility Enhancement Program (DOH-HFEP), the two-storey operating room-emergency room complex of the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital (PPH) was finished in 2016.
Through the DOH-HFEP projects government-run hospitals in Asingan, Bayambang, Lingayen and Urdaneta were constructed, while there are still ongoing projects in sa Dasol, Manaoag, at Umingan, he added.
Under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) funded by the World Bank, the Department of Agriculture (DA) projects, such as the 10.63 kms farm-to-market road project in Barangay Ginzales Umingan worth PHP112.65 million and construction of Tomato Post Trading Facility in Barangay Tugui Grande Bani worth PHP2.68 million, are underway, Espino said.
He said 173 provincial buildings worth PHP93.80 million have been built during his term, while the Pangasinan Convention and Multi-Purpose Center in Bugallon town with 10,000-seating capacity will start construction soon.
“We did not neglect our agricultural facilities, as at present a two-storey Farmer’s Training Center worth PHP24.8 million at the Provincial Agriculture Office in Sta. Barbara town is being constructed funded by the tobacco excise tax,” Espino said.
Meanwhile, some 26 flood control and similar projects worth PHP74.37 million from 2016 to 2018 were built.
The governor also pointed out the improved hospital services and public healthcare services with the projects from DOH-HFEP and the provincial government, as well as the PHP91 million worth of hospital equipment from DOH from 2016-2018.
He added that the provincial government also spent PHP309 million for the training of medical teams and additional hig-end facilities that served 389,000 in-patients and almost 1.3 million out-patients from 2016-2018.
The provincial government launched the “I Love Pangasinan Kalusugan Karaban” that brings public healthcare and delivery services to the communities. A total of 1,082 clustered barangays with 429,877 Pangasinenses were served by the caravan.
“Through the Kalusugan Karaban, we offered free medical consultations, dental services and other services for all the members of the families, especially the children, pregnant women and senior citizens,” Espino said.
Also part of the health caravan is the anti-rabies vaccination that immunized 400,000 dogs and cats from 2016 to 2018, he added.
The mobile diagnostic and treatment clinic, the first mobile clinic in the Philippines with complete equipment, was launched on Monday.
Meanwhile, the governor also reported the decreased unemployment rate in the province, from 8.87 percent in 2017 to 6.8 percent in 2018 and to 5.2 percent in January 2019.
“This means that from the 95,935 jobless Pangasinenses in January 2017, down to 59,291 this year. The 5.2 percent unemployment rate is the lowest since 2004. This is based from the Labor Force Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority January this year,” Espino said.
He attributed this to the job fairs, night job markets, local and special recruitment activities of the Provincial Employment and Services Office (PESO) that helped 7,606 job applicants all over the province.
The province recently launched the Mobile Skills Training Project, in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in Pangasinan and the local government units.
Espino also stressed the province’s achievements in disaster preparedness and response, livelihood programs, scholarship programs and the province’s status in its anti-drug campaigns and advocacy on good governance, among others.
He thanked all the NGAs, provincial government employees, local government workers, his family, among others, who worked with him to attain the achievements of the province.
“Sama-sama nating ipagpatuloy ang nasimulan para sa ikabubuti ng bawat pamilyang Pangasinense at sa walang humpay na pag-unlad ng Pangasinan (Let us together continue what we have started for the good of every Pangasinense family and for the continuous progress of Pangasinan),” Espino said. (PNA)