Negotiations have been finalized with a group of Korean investors for the construction of the Pangasinan Aqua City project in this capital town under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme.
Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. bared this project in his State-of-the-Province Address (SOPA) last Monday at the Capitol Plaza.
He said that the industrial and tourism complex to be developed by Home Ship Vehicle Amphi Port Company of South Korea was envisioned to include berthing facilities for amphibious planes, beach front residences, a golf course, an export processing area, fish farm and a monorail transport system.
The complex will be powered by a solar-and-wind power generating equipment, which facility is a component of the entire Korean investment. â€œWe have been assured by our Korean investors that the 50 stepping jetties designed for power generation are now being assembled in Korea and scheduled for shipment to Pangasinan within the first quarter of the year,â€ he said.
Phase 1, which will cost $20 million, will commence as soon as the stepping jetties are installed and expected to be completed in a year, he said.
He said that the Koreans were very meticulous with technical details and very careful with their funds. But after about five months of meetings and deliberations, the provincial government and the investors finally agreed to pursue the project.
Speaking before a big crowd at the Capitol grounds, Espino called on the local leaders and his provincemates to be more vigorous in pursuing â€œshared responsibilityâ€ in governance to ensure better service for the people and elevate Pangasinan as the best province in the country, pointing out that if the people of the province will put their acts together, â€œPangasinan will soon become the best place to invest, work, live and raise a family, and will eventually emerge as the number one province in the country.â€
Espino highlighted the gains of his administration in 2010, defining the year as a â€œperiod of historic transitionâ€ which, he said, now serves as the hallmark of the provincial governmentâ€™s continuing firm resolve for transformation. â€œWe could not have gone this, we could not have excelled in the various fields of endeavor where we are now the acknowledged leader in Region 1, without your constant support and active participation in our various development programs,â€ the governor stressed.
Recalling how April 5, 1580 was finally discovered and established as â€œAgew Na Pangasinanâ€ (Founding Day of Pangasinan), the governor said â€œwith determined efforts, we succeeded in establishing our historical roots and identity after 430 long years.â€
The governor said inclusion of Pangasinan culture and history in the basic curriculum for elementary and high school is now underway to properly preserve the provinceâ€™s rich heritage.
The governor hailed the Research and Study Committee headed by former Vice Gov. Gonzalo Duque, for accomplishing that task to determine the foundation date. Duque will also head the Pangasinan Historical and Cultural Commission to write the history of the province.
Pangasinan since 2008 has been winner in all regional competitions. It also won national awards and citations -Best Project Implementer in Coastal Resources Management, Best Poverty-Reduction Program Implementer, Best Regional Development Agenda Implementer, Best LGU Millenium Development Goals Project Implementer, Hall of Fame Awardee in the celebration of National Statistics Month, Regional Overall Champion for DSWD Youth Encampment, and Top PESO Regional Performer.
To produce premium grade rice at a fast rate of 2.5 metric tons per hour, the P200-million modern rice processing center in Sta. Barbara funded by a grant from the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) is expected to start operation within the next few weeks.
The provincial capitol compound underwent major face-lifting to showcase the provincial governmentâ€™s tourism promotion program. Pangasinan now leads other provinces in the Ilocos region in terms of tourist arrivals.