Search for new growth center now on in Dagupan

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Friday, May 23, 2014


MAYOR Belen Fernandez said she is now consulting with businessmen and various sectors of the society in Dagupan City to pinpoint the most ideal location for a new growth center since the downtown area has already become too congested.

Speaking to newsmen after delivering her State of the City Address (Soca) Thursday morning, Fernandez said the search for a new growth center is one of the biggest focuses of the City Government this year.

The new growth center shall include the location of a new and modern city hall which should rise hopefully by 2016 as the present Dagupan City Hall had become too small for the expanding services being given by the city.

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Saying they have already reserved P10 million that will be used to purchase the lot where the new city hall will rise, Fernandez is optimistic that business will flourish in an area wherever the city hall is located.

"We need a new city hall because our neighbors already built theirs ahead of us," said Fernandez, adding that once a new city hall is up, the old city hall which has a sentimental value to all Dagupenos will be converted into a museum.

She said she will consult with members of the City Council on whether the city will borrow money from the banks but added she is also expecting some financial help from the national government for the project.

The Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) has given Dagupan a good credit rating and said it can borrow as much as from P500 million to P700 million.

"We will study the offer, including the terms of amortization, but first we will get the commitment of some of our friends from the national government so we will know how much money the city can borrow from the banks," she said.

The mayor said there are proposals that the new city hall, which would be a three-storey edifice, be built in Barangay Pantal along the Jose R. de Venecia Expressway or in Bonuan.

She said the reason why former House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. pushed for the construction of the now Jose R. de Venecia Expressway across vast fishpond lands is to create a new business corridor or growth center for Dagupan.

The new business corridor, she said, shall start from Barangay Lucao to Pantal along the expressway, then up to Bonuan where the Tondaligan Park is located.

At the same time, Fernandez expressed optimism that the ongoing dredging of shallow rivers here with the use of three dredging machines loaned by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will not only ease flooding but will boost the production of milkfish, which is Dagupan's number one agricultural product.

Fernandez said a new and modern dredging machine called Watermaster III just bought by DPWH from Finland was immediately brought to Dagupan after coming out from Port Area in Manila.

She thanked Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel A. Roxas II and Pangasinan Fourth District Rep. Gina de Venecia for helping facilitate the deployment of three dredging machines to Dagupan.

City Engineer Virginia Rosario said that after only three days of dredging, there were a total of 44 truckloads of silt already removed from the river beds.

Noting that dredging is done from Mondays to Fridays only, Mayor Fernandez will ask DPWH to do it 24/7 with the help of personnel from the Dagupan City engineering office. (PNA)

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