Wednesday, February 25, 2009


REUNION OF AUSTRALIAN AND FILIPINO VETERANS. Gov. Amado T. Espino (6th from left, standing), Vice Gov. Marlyn Primicias Agabas (5th from left, standing) and Australian Naval Commemoration Committee of Victoria President Les Kennedy (5th from left, seated) lead the reunion of sorts of Australian and Filipino World War II Veterans during the unveiling of the Australian Commemorative Plaque on February 20, 2009, at the Veteran’s Memorial Park inside the Capitol compound in Lingayen, Pangasinan. The plaque commemorates the death of Australian servicemen and civilians “who fought bravely against the Imperial Japanese Forces.” Others in photo are provincial board members Alfie Bince, Von Mark Mendoza and Jeremy Rosario along with Australian veteran and Pangasinan Veteran Federation District Commanders. (PIO Photo by Emil Mari)
PLAQUE OF BRAVERY OF AUSTRALIAN WAR VETERANS. Pangasinan Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. (right) shakes the hand of Les Kennedy (left), head delegate of Australian Navy World War II Veterans, immediately after the unveiling of the commemorative plaque installed at the Veteran’s Memorial Park inside the Capitol compound in Lingayen, Pangasinan on February 20, 2009. The plaque commemorates the death of Australian servicemen and civilians “who fought bravely against the Imperial Japanese Forces.” Kennedy who is president of the Naval Commemoration Committee of Victoria, Australia, was joined by four Australian WW II Veterans with their friends and wives and Australian Embassy Assistant Defense Attach├ę Gary L. Barnes, a lieutenant colonel of the Australian Army. Unknown to many, a fleet of 15 Australian warships figured in the 1945 US-led Allied Forces assault on the Lingayen Gulf to liberate Luzon from the Japanese Imperial Army. (PIO Photo by Emil Mari)


Aussie embassy and province of Pangasinan honor Australian Navy Veterans

LINGAYEN---The Australian embassy and the Pangasinan provincial government led by Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. honored the Australian Navy Veterans who died during the fierce “land-sea-air battle” of the Allied Forces led by American troops on the Lingayen Gulf in January, 1945 to liberate Luzon from the Japanese Imperial Army.

In a solemn and sentimental unveiling ceremony of the Australian commemorative plaque held at the Veterans Park inside the Capitol compound on February 20, Mr. Les Kennedy, president of the Commemoration Committee of Victoria said: “The Australian country had also played a very significant role during the World War II, as we, too, sacrificed our lives to help the American troops led by Gen. Douglas MacArthur in liberating Luzon from the Japanese forces.”

Kennedy said the members of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) took part in the Philippine liberation where four in a fleet of 15 Australian warships figured in the big naval action of the liberation campaign.

The warships include HMAS Australia, Warrego, Warramunga, Arunta, Gascayone HDML 1074, Yusnan, Poyang, Merkur, Bishopdale, Cape Leeuwin and ML316, Benalla, Shorpshire, Karimbla, Menoora, and Westralia.

With this heroic act of the Australian and American soldiers along with Filipino veterans and guerillas, Gov. Espino said he took pride in the efforts of constructing the Veterans Memorial Park during his stint as Pangasinan PNP Provincial Director in 1994 under then Pres. Fidel V. Ramos, a war veteran himself.

On January 9, 1995, the province celebrated the 50th anniversary Gulf Landings which was restaged this year (64th landings anniversary) in fitting rites.

Gov. Espino lobbied to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and then to Malaca├▒ang to declare January 9 as Pangasinan Veterans’ Day, a special non-working holiday provincewide.

“We owe you so much, Australian government and I hope the next generation will come to know the friendship between the Filipino soldiers and the Australian soldiers during wartime,” the governor said..

Espino likewise asked the Australian embassy to furnish the province the pictures and specifications of Australian warships so that “we can make a miniature and place it here in our veterans park.”

Vice Gov. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas welcomed the Australian delegation composed of Mr. Kennedy, Lt. Col. Gary Barnes, Assistant Defence Attache’ Australian Embassy and Australian Navy Veterans led by George Rappell.

“The Australian commemorative plaque serves as a recognition of the Filipinos to the Australian soldiers for their significant participation in liberating our country from the Japanese military. And because of the heroism and gallantry of the Australian and its people, we share with you this historical veterans memorial park,” she said.

The unveiling ceremony was witnessed by the Pangasinan Veteran Federation District Commanders and members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan which includes Board Members Alfonso Bince, Von Mark Mendoza, and Jeremy Rosario and provincial department heads, police officials and employees. (Merly R. Tibalao/PIO)

Espino to VMs, local dads: 'Be more judicious'

BAGUIO CITY-Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. stressed the vital role the vice mayors and municipal councilors play in local governance, saying they serve as the “check and balance in the democratic process.

Speaking before the Vice Mayors League of the Philippines, region 1 chapter, on the opening day of a regional seminar-workshop on “Capacity Development and Agenda Formulation,” the governor said that in playing their role, the local councils deliver the most important piece of legislation – the annual budget.

Being the direct provider of basic services, Espino called on the municipal councils to identify the priorities and prime their expenditures to effectively deliver the vital services to their constituents.

The governor made the appeal as he noted that there are still a lot of municipal governments which still “allocate and consume its financial resources to non-essential projects, such as boundary arches, plant boxes, and waiting sheds along the highways, as well as the holding of lavish fiesta celebrations that are invariably attended only by the rich and famous, at the expense of vital projects and services for which funds would have been used to help the poor, and to achieve long-term benefits.”

He, instead, asked the local officials to shift their priority to simple but essential services such as: “maintenance of peace and order, primary health care, clean and orderly environment, livelihood opportunities, and vital infrastructures such as repair and maintenance of municipal roads and bridges, public markets, potable water, and school buildings through the judicious use of the Special Education Fund (SEF) derived from real property taxes.”

Espino stressed the need for a “lean-and-mean organization provided with just compensation and incentives, conducive working conditions, and creating an overall work environment that encourages solidarity, teamwork, professionalism and excellence.”

The governor encouraged the local chief executives and local sanggunians to work in harmony to “enable them to govern effectively, and jointly lead their people, especially during these difficult and trying times.”

He commended the vice mayors league headed by its chairman, Sta. Barbara Vice Mayor Ruben Jose, for undertaking the three-day seminar-workshop designed to improve their “knowledge and skills in local legislation, and to take bold steps to help make local autonomy become a true and effective engine for growth and prosperity in the country..”

The other officers of the vice mayors league are: Amante Tito Purisima (Ilocos Sur), executive vice president; Teofilo Humilde of Alaminos City, president, Pangasinan chapter; Corazon Abad, Ilocos Norte chapter president and the regional league’s secretary-general.
NEW TEACHER GUIDEBOOK. Pangasinan Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. (2nd from right) turns over a copy of the new teacher guidebook to Atty. Armando Aquino, schools division superintendent of Pangasinan II and brainchild of the newest document in classroom management in the country. Witnessing the turnover are Vice Gov. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas (right) and Dr. Alma Ruby Torio, schools division superintendent of Pangasinan II. Some 48,325 copies of the guidebook were mass-produced by the provincial government to be distributed for use in all the province’s public elementary and secondary schools. (PIO Photo by Emil R. Mari)
Top executives of various banks in the country present the token of appreciation to Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. (3rd from left) after delivering his speech to Bankers Institute of the Philippines, Inc. (BAIPhil) 6th General Membership Meeting at the Mandarin Oriental in Makati City last January 7, 2009. BAIPhil directors and officers described Espino’s administration as a new brand of leadership at the local level characterized by accountability, transparency, ethical and efficient governance in order to achieve genuine and lasting reforms and development for country and region. Joining the Governor are (starting from left): Banco de Oro (BDO) First Vice President (FVP) Lydia C. King; Metrobank FVP Luz I. Blanco; BDO Private Bank FVP Agnes B. Santos; Phil. Bank of Communications FVP Evelyn D. Vinluan; GE Money Bank FVP Salvador R. Serrano. (PIO Photo by Glicerio D. Moran)

RP’s Bank Execs hail Gov. Espino

The country’s senior bank executives hailed the dramatic changes of Pangasinan under the leadership of Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr.

Gov. Espino wowed the bankers from the major banking institutions following his speech as guest speaker of the general membership meeting of the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAIPhil) on January 27, 2009 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

BAIPhil Director and Banco De Oro Private Bank First Vice President Agnes Santos said that BAIPhil members were so impressed with the transformation of Pangasinan when they heard the governor’s speech followed by an audio-visual presentation entitled “Pangasinan’s Golden Age.”

The governor was invited by BAIPhil to share his experience in the pursuit of excellence in governance in the province.

In his speech, the governor recalled the nagging question that stared him in the face upon assumption as governor: How could the provincial government of Pangasinan operate and respond to the needs of its constituents with a demoralized bureaucracy, dysfunctional machinery and decrepit buildings and facilities?

He said that the job at hand looked enormous and simply overwhelming but as the governor, he had no choice but to confront the problem head-on. “The primary task was to put the house in order,” he said.

For the next one and a half years, he and his trusted aides worked tirelessly thru extended hours, with a sense of urgency and with a passion, single-minded focus and dedication to attend to the things that had been neglected for so long.

The difficult and daunting part of the job was transforming the mindset and culture of the provincial government bureaucracy from indifference and non-performance to professionalism and excellence, and in restoring their dignity and self-respect as public servants.

The provincial government had to be mindful that each employee deserves recognition, respect, adequate compensation and reasonable incentives.

In a span of 18 months, the salaries of the employees were increased two times and were given several opportunities to mingle with their fellow employees in other departments thru overnight team-building sessions. Today, the provincial employees who commute from different parts of the province enjoy the services and comfort of seven shuttle buses that bring them every day from home to work and vice versa.

Today, the Pangasinan capitol stands out as the best in the entire country where employees are proud of their work, proud of their province and proud to belong to the provincial government of Pangasinan, the governor pointed out.

Now with better buildings and facilities, more conducive working conditions backed up by an inspired and well-motivated workforce and the growing trust and confidence of the people in their provincial government, Pangasinan is ready to tackle the real more challenging task ahead, he said. He called on the civil society to do their share.

“We know we can only do that by continually outdoing our own best efforts, and providing leadership and direction. Leadership means taking risks, thinking out of the box and daring to be different,” the governor said.

RP’s Bank Execs hail Gov. Espino

The country’s senior bank executives hailed the dramatic changes of Pangasinan under the leadership of Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr.

Gov. Espino wowed the bankers from the major banking institutions following his speech as guest speaker of the general membership meeting of the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAIPhil) on January 27, 2009 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

BAIPhil Director and Banco De Oro Private Bank First Vice President Agnes Santos said that BAIPhil members were so impressed with the transformation of Pangasinan when they heard the governor’s speech followed by an audio-visual presentation entitled “Pangasinan’s Golden Age.”

The governor was invited by BAIPhil to share his experience in the pursuit of excellence in governance in the province.

In his speech, the governor recalled the nagging question that stared him in the face upon assumption as governor: How could the provincial government of Pangasinan operate and respond to the needs of its constituents with a demoralized bureaucracy, dysfunctional machinery and decrepit buildings and facilities?

He said that the job at hand looked enormous and simply overwhelming but as the governor, he had no choice but to confront the problem head-on. “The primary task was to put the house in order,” he said.

For the next one and a half years, he and his trusted aides worked tirelessly thru extended hours, with a sense of urgency and with a passion, single-minded focus and dedication to attend to the things that had been neglected for so long.

The difficult and daunting part of the job was transforming the mindset and culture of the provincial government bureaucracy from indifference and non-performance to professionalism and excellence, and in restoring their dignity and self-respect as public servants.

The provincial government had to be mindful that each employee deserves recognition, respect, adequate compensation and reasonable incentives.

In a span of 18 months, the salaries of the employees were increased two times and were given several opportunities to mingle with their fellow employees in other departments thru overnight team-building sessions. Today, the provincial employees who commute from different parts of the province enjoy the services and comfort of seven shuttle buses that bring them every day from home to work and vice versa.

Today, the Pangasinan capitol stands out as the best in the entire country where employees are proud of their work, proud of their province and proud to belong to the provincial government of Pangasinan, the governor pointed out.

Now with better buildings and facilities, more conducive working conditions backed up by an inspired and well-motivated workforce and the growing trust and confidence of the people in their provincial government, Pangasinan is ready to tackle the real more challenging task ahead, he said. He called on the civil society to do their share.

“We know we can only do that by continually outdoing our own best efforts, and providing leadership and direction. Leadership means taking risks, thinking out of the box and daring to be different,” the governor said.
Governor Amado T. Espino,Jr.(3rd from left) congratulates Natividad Mayor Alejandrea N. Supnet as he handed the symbolic key of the new police patrol car that was turned over to the town’s police station recently. The municipality of Natividad was among the twelve town stations awarded with a brand new patrol car under the nationwide PNP Integrated Transformation Program in its modernization effort which aimed to provide patrol car to every police station in the country. Assisting the governor during the turn over ceremony held at the PNP grounds is PNP Provincial Director Percival Barba (left) while Natividad P/Insp. Hermelito Diaz looks on. (PIO Photo by Emil R. Mari)
Lingayen Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Rolando Salosagcol (left) blesses the 12 new police cars recently turned over to various police stations in a simple rites at the PNP grounds led by Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. (center) and PNP Provincial Director Percival Barba. The distribution of the patrol cars is in line with the government’s thrust to improve the capability of field units under the nationwide PNP Integrated Transformation Program and likewise a complementary project of the province’s integrated approach to peace and order. (PIO Photo by Emil R. Mari)
Governor Amado T. Espino. Jr. (standing, left) speaks before PNP and municipal officials during the turnover ceremony of some 12 new patrol cars to various town police stations in Pangasinan held at the PNP grounds last January 26. The governor disclosed that peace and order ranks number one among his priority thrusts stressing that he fully supports the various programs of the PNP specifically its nationwide Integrated Transformation Program which aims to provide brand new vehicles (in the background) for every police station across the country. Listening to the governor at the presidential table are (starting from left): Natividad Mayor Alejandrea Supnet, PNP Provincial Director Percival Barba, Lingayen Mayor Ernesto Castaneda and Mabini Mayor Carlitos Reyes. (PIO Photo by Emil R. Mari)

Gov. Espino leads turnover of 12 police cars

Lingayen- - - Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. and PS/Supt. Percival Barba led the turnover of some 12 police patrol cars on January 26, at the PNP Provincial Headquarters.

The distribution of the new patrol vehicles is in line with the government’s thrust to improve the capability of field units under the nationwide PNP Integrated Transformation Program to provide brand new patrol cars for every police station across the country.

The recipients of the twelve new police cars are the town stations of Natividad, Mabini, Sta. Maria, Urbiztondo, Tayug, Burgos, Sta. Barbara, Rosales, Manaoag, Anda, Infanta and Dasol.

With this, the governor stressed that the turnover complements the province’s integrated approach to peace and order along with the massive distribution of shotguns to the various barangays of Pangasinan which was launched last year.

Furthermore, he said that peace and order ranks number one among his priority thrusts stressing that his general concept on peace is to see every Pangasinense parent having peace of mind even if their children are still out at night.

As part of the integrated peace and order thrust of the province, the provincial government is set to provide two-way radio communication gadgets to all 1,333 barangays of Pangasinan this year.

The availability of transportation and communication in the barangays, he continued, “are two important factors to safeguard the community with the PNP having 24-hour operations as the nerve center.”

As the chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council, Governor Espino envisions to undertake a bigger role specifically to integrate efforts of all leaders, police enforcers and military personnel not only for Pangasinan but for the entire Region I to ensure a region-wide peace and security of the Ilocanos and the Pangasinenses.

The strict implementation of the peace and order program in Pangasinan led to a drastic drop of crime index for 2008, notably on cattle-rustling. “This can be attributed to the shotgun program and the implementation of a “buddy System” between the PNP and the Barangay Chairmen,” Col. Barba said.

The integrated community-based approach to maintain peace and order as deterrence to crime and generated instantaneous response to lawlessness is a pet project of the governor.

Training of police officers region-wide and Moral Recovery Program are likewise being conducted to further enhance their law enforcement capabilities and strengthen their values. (PIO/Ruby R. Bernardino)

Friday, February 13, 2009

PANGASINAN PROVINCIAL SHUTTLE BUSES (Feature Story) By: Chona Bugayong

There’s nothing quite like having a cool, more relaxed and comfortable trip giving employees a quality experience full of warm, personal touch…..something you seldom realize still existed as employees smile and graciously interact with each other paving way to earn new friends.

With the presence of the first-ever six (6) Pangasinan Provincial shuttle buses at the Capitol compound comes a joyful realization that a dream has finally come true for hundreds of commuters from the provincial government employees.

A picture of proud and dignified workforce onboard the provincial buses has all but praises for the present administration.

People from all walks of life, travelers, bystanders and even provincial government employees themselves are likewise caught in a state of awe at the sight of shuttle buses along the road that ferry employees after a day of hard work to and fro the six (6) areas of destination in the province namely:

a) Alaminos City – Lingayen
b) Villasis – Lingayen
c) Urbiztondo – Lingayen
d) San Fabian – Lingayen
e) Binalonan – Lingayen
f) Bayambang - Lingayen


Five days a week has become a bonding moment with employees mingling with one another, exchanging funny jokes, stories and laughter…a rejuvenating moment and a unique way of building closer ties among the provincial workers that make every trip smooth sailing.

For this, employees expressed nothing but good words and gratitude for the governor.

Providing the workforce with an accessible transportation is a long-awaited dream and a priceless endeavor that no past governor ever did.

Not spared by the global crisis, employees were very much delighted knowing the big relief this project provides to workers and also for their families especially those with meager income. Commuting employees are now free from the hassles of traveling and worries on high fare.

Gone are the days when employees rush and rub elbows only to get the first bus that is set to leave the bus station.

“Napakalaking benepisyo ang naibabahagi sa atin sa pagkakaroon ng shuttle bus dahil ang natitipid natin ay karagdagang kita at savings na pwede nating ilaan para sa iba pa nating pangangailangan. Bukod sa madali na ang pagbiyahe at pag-uwi kasi di kana makikipagsiksikan, naka aircon ka pa. Sikat na tayo at feeling empleyado na,” employees commented.

The provincial government employees are overwhelmed with the thought that they too are able to avail the same benefits enjoyed by employees of big time companies.

Everyday is a day worth looking forward to because of the joy and bonding that no employee wants to miss.

With all the program thrusts of the present administration under the leadership of Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr., what more can Pangasinan’s 2.6 M populace ask for?

Indeed, he has made Pangasinan truly the best place to work, invest, live and raise a family.