The awards were received by Governor Amado Espino Jr. and Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Calimlim, assisted by Provincial Administrator Rafael Baraan and Provincial Development and Planning Officer Benita Pizarro.
These awards are those for Best Performing LGU (Province category), Best in Local Government Performance Management System where Pangasinan is No. 5 in the whole country; LGU Best Practices for the province’s environmental program “Ilog Ko, Bilayen Ko Tan Aroen Ko” (My River, I will Make It Live and Will Love It); Best Province in Terms of Poverty Reduction Implementation; Best Province in Local Government Implementation in Support of the Regional Agenda with the establishment of the Pangasinan Training and Development Center; and Best Province in Medium Development Goal Implementation through the establishment of the Portic Integrated School in Bugallon.
There could have been more awards for Pangasinan had it not been a Hall of Fame awardee in two other areas, as Best LGU in Coastal Resource Management (CRM) Implementation, and Best in National Statistics Month Celebration which Pangasinan won consistently in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Espino said the only award where Pangasinan placed second was in the area of Cleanest, Safest and Greenest LGU which was won by the province of La Union.
The governor said this was precisely because 12 of the 44 municipalities of Pangasinan did not submit entry in this area to the Regional Search Committee headed by Director Samuel Peñafiel of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
“We are happy bagging six of seven regional awards. To me, this serves as an inspiration for us to do something more for our constituents,” he said in a news conference after the awarding ceremony.
At the same time, he said that he also considers the six awards a vindication for him after being accused by some people of defacing the beaches purportedly in search of magnetite or black sand when in fact they were actually fortifying the beaches as a prelude to build an eco-tourism zone and the first of its kind 18-hole golf course in Pangasinan.
He also said the six regional awards were the result of team effort among the office of the governor, the Sanggunian Panlalawigan headed by Vice Gov. Calimlim, department heads and rank and file employees of the provincial government.
Chosen Cleanest, Safest and Greenest City for second time in a row is Urdaneta City in Pangasinan; Bani, Pangasinan, best municipality in CRM Implementation; and Alaminos City, best City in CRM Implementation.