THE Lingayen Gulf Baywalk project, which was started in 2012 as a place for jogging and leisurely walk, is set to be duplicated in other coastal areas of Pangasinan all the way to neighboring province of La Union.
Pangasinan second district Representativ Leopoldo Bataoil, who started the project along the coast of Maniboc, Lingayen, bared this recently.
The baywalk is being extended up to Binmaley due to the clamor of the town residents.
To date, the project has been extended by 13 kilometers, only three kilometers before it reaches the border of Pugaro, Dagupan City, in the fourth district of Pangasinan.
Bataoil said fourth district Representative Christopher de Venecia wants to continue the baywalk from Barangay Pugaro up to the boundary of San Fabian with Sto. Tomas, La Union.
He added that La Union second district Representative Sandra Eriguel intends to replicate the project along coastal areas in her area.
Bataoil told newsmen on February 15 at the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas forum in Dagupan City that he was glad the Lingayen Gulf Baywalk would be duplicated in other congressional districts.
The project is an ordinary road built by the Department of Public Works and Highways perpendicular to the beach and is durable because it uses the standard adopted in the construction of national highways, he added.
According to Bataoil, the project was funded by his Priority Development Fund (PDAF) in 2012 when PDAF was not yet outlawed by the Supreme Court, and was continued using Department of Tourism convergence fund.
Bataoil said the Lingayen Gulf Baywalk is a tourism-oriented project, where people can freely stroll and jog during early mornings and late afternoons till early evenings.
The portion of the baywalk behind the Pangasinan provincial capitol is lighted at night using solar-powered lamps donated to the Provincial Government by Team Energy, operator of the Sual coal-fired power plant.
Bataoil said the project, in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Provincial Government, actually helped stop the proliferation of illegal structures on the beach.
He said had the baywalk not been put up, squatters would have already invaded the beach. (PNA)