Lingayen- - -The huge crowd of around 14,000 who flocked to the Capitol Grandstand to witness Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. deliver his 3rd report on the State of the Province last January 25, signifies the strong support of Pangasinenses to him in just two and a half years of his administration.
Based on crowd estimate, the number of spectators and well-wishers who came to meet the provincial officials via courtesy call has doubled as compared to last year and no-less than the governor was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from various sectors in the province.
For 45 minutes, the crowd listened intently to the “Man of the Hour”, who authored all the basic transformations of Pangasinan in just a span of two and a half years. As a gesture of commendation, more than 40 applauses were given to Pangasinan’s architect of reform as he laid all the accomplished tasks as well as the accolades earned by the province.
Those who witnessed the event were one in saying that Pangasinan has truly found a leader who can bring swift progress and genuine reform that could pave the way towards the blossoming of the Golden Era of the province.
“Napakaganda po ng ginagawa ni Governor Espino at kahit mahigit na 2 years pa lang siya sa pwesto, madami na siyang nagawa. Napakaganda ng Capitol at napakalinis pa,” said Mariel Mercado, a 3rd year B.S. Nursing student and a resident of Lingayen who came with her classmates to witness the event.
People from all walks of life appreciated the drastic improvements that the present leadership has launched to institute discipline and pervade order among Pangasinenses.
Rudy Terrado, 33 years old and a tricycle driver, said that order and discipline is evident within the Capitol compound as he stated, “ nagkaroon ng disiplina ang mga driver, Dati kasi kahit saan pwede mag-park, ngayon hindi na. May lugar na pwede lang mag-park.”
A functioning, high performing provincial government is the battlecry of the present administration backed up with a cohesive, well-motivated team of provincial officials that has earned various awards and citations for Pangasinan, which is now dubbed as the number one province region-wide.
PESO Chief Alex Ferrer disclosed that since July 2007, all provincial departments have improved in terms of performance and accomplishments. This, he added, is due to the brand of leadership that the province has with the stewardship of a hardworking leader who is dubbed by many as a 24/7 governor.
From a poor third out of four provinces in the region, Pangasinan has finally reached the number one status in terms of tourist arrivals.
The Provincial Capitol, the tourism showroom of Pangasinan, has been receiving an increasing number of visitors from an average of 76 visitors a day in 2008 to 205 visitors a day in 2009. At present, the provincial government has 14 DOT-accredited and trained tour guides. In the past, there was none except for one DOT accredited tour guide from the City of Alaminos.
Veronica Coady, a businesswoman of Pangasinan lineage and based in Taipa, Macau, was amazed at what she saw after visiting the Capitol during the SOPA, and was quoted by saying,” Ganito na pala kaganda ang Kapitolyo ngayon. The last time I was here was in 2002 at iba pa ang itsura ng Capitol noon. Napaka-elegante na ngayon and I feel proud as a Pangasinense because pwede na natin ipagmalaki and we can even invite our foreign friends to come and discover the beauty of our province.”
As mentioned by Gov. Espino in his report, the province will continue to give priority attention to the effective maintenance of peace and order as a continuing measure to protect the people from lawless elements, and to safeguard the visitors as well as investments coming into the province.
This can be attested by some people who enjoy frolicking or strolling around the Capitol environs even late at night.
“Kahit gabi po pwede na kaming mamasyal na magkaka-barkada ng walang takot dito po sa tabing-dagat kasi maliwanag po ang paligid at may mga nakaduty na gwardiya at nagroronda,” said 24-year old Raymond Casipit from Sto. Nino Street in Lingayen.
It was reported in the past that there were rape cases at the back of the Urduja House and the reported proliferation of drug addicts and rugby boys.
Yoly Gaerlan of Gayaman, Binmaley likewise said that their family bonding during weekends include going to the Capitol as she cited that “napakasarap mamasyal at magpicnic kasi kahit sa gabi maliwanag dahil madaming ilaw at may music at libre pa. Safe na safe ang pakiramdam naming mag-anak.” In the past, the provincial government-owned sheds were rented to beachgoers.
With all the positive response coming from many people, from officials down to ordinary citizen, the provincial government is inspired to do more for the improvement of lives of the 2.7 million Pangasinenses.
Right after the governor delivered his address on the state of the province last January 25, he spent exactly three hours and 15 minutes greeting all those who lined up for the traditional courtesy call.(PIO/Ruby R. Bernardino)