BUGALLON, Pangasinan, May 7 (PIA) — The provincial government bared what the cleanest rivers and riverbanks are in Pangasinan during the Pakar Awards held at the foot of Bañaga Bridge in this town on May 1 as part of the Sea Festival celebration.
Pakar Awards aims to see how local government officials and non-government organizations manage or propagate “pakar” (mangroves), Dalisay Moya, provincial agriculture officer and executive chairman of the fest, said.
She added that cities and municipalities were judged based on the physical parameters of their river, foremost of which is its cleanliness; the local government units’ (LGUs) strong legislative agenda for the river; the LGUs programs or projects on river protection; and sustainability programs.
The winner for the Inland River Category and dubbed as the Hall of Famer being a three-time victor is Mangaldan town. Meanwhile Bolinao town won in the Coastal River Category. Both municipalities brought home P100, 000 as cash prize.
For the barangay level category A which involves the beneficiaries of the provincial government’s river clean-up led by the Task Force Kalikasan, the champ is barangay Dupo of Binmaley town followed by barangay Bued of Alaminos City that won in category ‘B’ that included those which had not yet been reached by the clean-up. These two were given P50, 000.
The best practices of various municipalities and barangays in Pangasinan were also awarded. Adjudged Model LGU in Watershed Protection Project: Enforcement of Zero Charcoal Production is Infanta town; while Sta. Maria town is the Model LGU in Implementing Innovative Project: Developing the Agno River as Eco-Tourism Destination. Both received P50,000 worth of cash prize.
Subsequently, the Model Barangay in Sustainable River and Riverbank Protection of the Sinocalan River is barangay Poblacion of Sta. Barbara town; barangay Bañaga of Bugallon town capped the Model Barangay for Self-Help Community Initiative for River and Riverbank Protection. Each bagged P25, 000.
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo graced the occasion and motivated the awardees to improve further.
“Hindi po tayo hihinto kahit tayo na ang pinakamahusay kundi tayo ay magpupunyaging lalo…tayo ay magsumikap na mas humusay kaysa sa panahong pangkasalukuyan (We should not stop even if we are already the best, instead we must strive more…we should persevere to become better than the present),” he said.
With this, he affirmed that the Seal of Good Housekeeping was launched by DILG to encourage public service which is skillful, honest, and straight.
He also announced that this year, DILG will release the silver grade seal in addition to the bronze provided to earlier recipients. Next year, the gold grade seal will be set off to inspire LGUs to enhance their performance for the benefit of the citizens.
After the awarding ceremony, Robredo led the groundbreaking rites of the Pangasinan Resettlement Project. The project will benefit some 200 informal settlers of barangay Pangapisan North in Lingayen town. (JCR/AMM-PIA 1, Pangasinan)