Unsung heroes feted on 443rd Pampanga Day

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Governor Lilia Pineda and Vice-Governor Dennis Pineda honored the "unsung heroes" of the province and their "extra ordinary efforts" at the 443rd Pampanga Day celebration, a member of the provincial board said on Thursday.

Board Member Rosve Henson said the provincial government is effective and successful in delivering basic social services to about two million Pampanga folk because "of the unsung heroes or the ordinary people doing extra ordinary work."

Henson issued the statements when asked by Sun.Star Pampanga on why the Pineda administration had prioritized the honoring of barangay health workers, public school teachers, farmers, fisherfolk, police, small traders and others at the on-going founding day celebrations.

Henson hosted on December 4 the day for Barangay Health Workers and Persons with Disabilities at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center here and the two events were part of the 11-day Pampanga Day celebration. It was attended by Department of Health (DOH) Regional Director Dr. Leonita Gorgolon.

On Friday, Pineda led the day for teachers and members of the Pampanga police force.

Pineda said: “My vision is to see not just a progressive Pampanga but a peaceful province as well.”

“What’s the worth of sustained economic progress if there is no lasting peace? We are doing everything to achieve our dream for Pampanga. The present and future generations must reap the fruits of the collective hard work and dedication,” added Pineda, who led the opening of the “Aldo Ning Kapampangan” on December 1.

Henson said Pineda also cited the genuine partnership of the provincial government with national government agencies to create “lasting and valuable” projects beneficial to the people of Pampanga.

Center of Investment

Engr. Vic Ubaldo, assistant regional director of the National Economic and Development Authority, earlier said that “Pampanga is favored by investors among the provinces in Central Luzon.”

In a National Statistical Coordination Board report, Pampanga was ranked among the 10 most developed provinces in the country, with total investment pegged at P95 billion in 2012. Pineda started her term in 2010.

The total investment in Pampanga is at least 76 percent of the investments in Central Luzon, the same report said.

In 2013, the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) named Pampanga as among the top 10 provinces in the Philippines in terms of economic and business growth.

Dr. Cid Terosa of the UA&P School of Economics made a study entitled “Market Potential and Prospects of Philippine Regions, Provinces and Cities.”

Terosa described Pampanga as “ahead of the pack,” with a rating of 0.3983 based on its index of economic and business activity in 2011.

It ranked sixth in the top 10 list. There are 81 provinces, according to the July 2014 report of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Caring a Lot

Apalit Mayor Oscar Tetangco, Jr., president of the Pampanga Mayors’ League (PML), said the Pineda administration will “forever be remembered as provincial government that really shares its blessings and cares a lot.”

A few weeks before the Pampanga Day events from December 1 to 11, the two-term governor started the distribution of brand-new service vehicles to villages of Pampanga. The patrol vehicles cost at least P565,000 each and 262 were already turned over to the beneficiaries, said Board Member Cris Garbo, chairman of the Provincial Board committee on appropriation and finance.

A least P261 million is allotted for some 400 patrol vehicles. The other barangays such the upland villages in Porac and coastal villages in Masantol, Lubao and Macabebe will have “tailor-fit transportations” for their respective area.

Former Board Member Olga Frances “Fritzie” David-Dizon, daughter of a former Pampanga acting governor and Porac town mayor, said “over the years, I have seen the granting of the most noble and grand projects for the people but the distributions of service vehicles to villages is the best so far.”

“It’s a manifestation of the genuine public service because the benefits of the sound fiscal management of the Pineda government literally trickled down to the grassroots level,” added David-Dizon, who is now chief-of-staff of the governor.

“The patrol vehicles will help our fight against illegal drugs,” stressed Pineda. She earlier led various activities and seminars to equip barangay leaders and village cops on how to help the Pampanga police curb all forms of crimes.

“It’s necessary to fully tap the services of the 10,000-strong barangay tanods (village cops) to successful win the war against the drugs menace,” said Pineda. “Almost all the most heinous crimes were associated with proliferation of illegal drugs.”

Rich Harvest

On December 8, Pineda will lead the “Day for Fishermen and Fishpond Owners” as part of the celebration. It will be held in Macabebe and Lubao towns.

Pampanga produced record highs in aquaculture in 2013 and remained as the top producers of shrimps and tilapia in the entire country, disclosed Remedios Ongtangco, Central Luzon regional director of the Bureau of Fisheries of Aquatic Resources (BFAR). It produced 19,266.73 metric tons of shrimps in 2013 and contributed 39 percent to the total national production.

The BFAR said Pampanga produced 107,792.42 metric tons of Tilapia and contributed 34 percent to the total national production. Pampanga contributed 60 percent to the total fisheries production last year in Central Luzon, it added.

Pineda expressed elation over the productions of fisherfolk in Pampanga. She added that “we must not stop producing high quality fish products and improve the yield annually.” As of June 2014, the BFAR recorded 14,656 fisherfolk in Pampanga.

The trade fair from December 1 to 3 was meant to showcase the finest food and products of local traders.

“The governor is happy because so many people are buying our products at the trade fair,” said Provincial Administrator Andres Pangilinan ,Jr.

Pineda said that the Pampanga Day should focus on the relatively poor sectors of the society. “The people need more attention from the provincial government.” She and the vice-governor led the “Ayta Day” at Nabuklod in Floridablanca, Planas in Porac and Calumpang in Mabalacat City last December 3.

“We’re going to give Aetas due care and attention as part of the highlights of the founding anniversary of the province,” said Pineda.

The highlights of the annual activity are the Mutya Ning Kapampangan 2014 (December 10) and Most Outstanding Kapampangan Award (December 11).

Some 500 inmates at the provincial jail also benefited from a medical mission, said Provincial Health Office (PHO) II head Dr. Marcelo Jaochico.

On December 2, Senator Cynthia Villar and Mayor Tetangco joined Pineda in honoring farmers and OFWs in separate events here.

A proud daughter of a farmer in Sta. Cruz, Lubao, Pineda honored old farmers who successfully raised their respective children and sent them to college and universities for professional courses.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional director Ana Dione and Pineda also staged a successful job fair on Monday at the Capitol compound.

The Pineda administration dubbed this year’s founding anniversary as “Kulturang Kapampangan Ya Ing Dalan Ning Kaunlaran” [Kapampangan Culture is the Way to Progress].”

“We must honor the past and the people who first did their part in fostering peace and progress in Pampanga,” said Pineda. “We must not fail them.”

Pampanga Archbishop Florentino “Dong” Lavarias, who led the mass on December 1 to signal the start of the founding anniversary, urged Pineda and the vice-governor to record all the events so that they will know what happened later.

“The records will also allow them to improve the future events related to the Pampanga Day,” he added. (Joey Pavia/Contributor)

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