LINGAYEN -- “Pangasinan is free from insurgency.”

Pangasinan Police Provincial Director Percival Barba and Philippine Army Brigade Commander Leonido Bongcawil issued this report at the presentation of Internal Security Operations (ISO) recently.

Provincial Administrator Rafael Baraan said the declaration of the province as insurgency-free is a good come on for investors.

“That is very basic. If you invite investors to the province, one thing that they will look up is the peace and order situation. If we are on top of the situation, they will feel secured. It is safe for them to bring in more money and more resources to the province,” he said.

The briefing made by the officers showed the peace and order situation in the province of focusing on insurgency covering the period from 2006 to date.

Governor Amado Espino Jr., who chairs the Provincial Peace and Order Council, has put peace and order as his administration’s priority thrust to safeguard the people from lawless elements and threat of insurgency when he was first elected to the post.

With Espino (himself a retired police officer) at the helm, the Provincial Government has maintained close collaboration with the provincial police command and the army contingents within the province to ensure the safety of the people as well as visitors.

Pangasinan was then considered as the “shirking area” where Communist Terrorists (CTs) seek temporary refuge whenever massive combat operations were being undertaken by military forces.

But the peace and order situation in Pangasinan improved through the concerted efforts of the local government units (LGUs), Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines that effectively addressed the plights of its constituents and provided the necessary service to the people.

Also credited is the active participation and support of CVOs (civilian volunteer organizations, Barangay Tanods, Barangay Police Auxiliary Teams (BPATS) and CAFGU Active Auxiliaries (CAAs).

Accordingly, the province has a total of 16 CAA Patrol bases to form part of the local Integrated Area/Community Public Safety System (IA/CPSS) or a total of 486 CAA personnel.

It was reported that the communist terrorist movement's (CTM) threat to stability, peace, and order and development is significantly reduced. That a number of CTM supporters and sympathizers returned to the folds of the law, took their oath of allegiance and participated in peaceful initiatives.

This significant development has made Pangasinan one of the fastest emerging economic hubs in Central Luzon as proven by the increasing influx of tourists and investors despite being visited by typhoons.

Pangasinan is known as one of the major contributors of several agricultural products in the country.

Likewise, there was a notable steady and sustainable increase in agri-business predominantly on rice and fish productions for the year 2008 and 2009.