Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Gov. Espino redefines battle at Lingayen Gulf

Lingayen- - The province has revived the Save the Lingayen Gulf (SLING) Movement during the celebration of the 64th Lingayen Gulf Landings in a bid to drum up the environmental awareness campaign through its program dubbed: “Save Lingayen Gulf…Save Our Rivers.”

Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. launched the SLING way back in 1993 during his stint as Police Provincial Director of Pangasinan

The governor has redefined the battle at Lingayen Gulf from liberating the country from foreign invaders into waging a war against environmental abuse and degradation.

Fuelling the SLING movement’s rebirth is the on-going evaluation of 14 coastal municipalities for the province’s annual search for the Cleanest Coastal City/Municipality which started Last January 5.

The search is in line with the governors’ bid to put in place a sustainable clean-up activity that calls for the concerted efforts and active participation of various community organizations in coastal local government units to address environmental concerns such as pollution and degradation among others.

Fourteen coastal LGUs will vie for the much coveted title with handsome prizes at stake in the form of Coastal Resource Management (CRM) related projects worth P300,000.00; P200,000.00 and P100,000.00 respectively. Special recognitions will also be given to towns or cities which will best excel in areas relative to CRM best practices.

The program is basically aimed at creating awareness and make coastal residents realize that the worsening environmental problems contributes to global warming which would result to climate change that adversely affect the people, their source of livelihood and development efforts due to human neglect.

It will be recalled that in May 2008, a covenant between the governor and all coastal town mayors was signed to institutionalize the Linis Dayat program adding more teeth to it.

This year’ search committee comprising of representatives from various line agencies such as the DENR-CENRO, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, Provincial Information Office, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Education, Provincial Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Council has started to conduct the two sets of on-site and ocular evaluations to assess the sustainability of coastal resource management programs and implementations among the competing LGUs.

Adopted criteria for the search includes physical conditions of shorelines and existing support systems such as budgetary support for coastal clean-up drive and solid waste management, legislative support, enforcement and monitoring mechanisms and community mobilization of people’s involvement.

As collected in the interviews done by the search committee, the local and barangay officials have joined hands to fully equip the coastal residents with proper information and education on the importance of environmental protection and preservation through seminars and house to house visitations.

Local officials pointed out that with the people’s active involvement and discipline in beautifying and maintaining cleanliness along the coastal areas, their beaches has now transformed into prime tourist come-ons. (PIO/Chona C. Bugayong)

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