By Janice Hidalgo
STA-BARBARA- No less than Governor Amado T. Espino Jr. was so happy that Pangasinan will be among the recipients of major infrastructures that will benefit from the Value Added Tax the Philippine government is extracting from the crude oil and energy producing companies.
Among the statements that were mentioned by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo PGMA on her State of the Nation Address was when she made mention that VAT will complete the San Roque –Agno River project.
Maganda lahat ang sinabi ng pangnulo pinaka maganda sa lahat ay yung magagawa na ang irrigation component ng San Roque yun lang ang San roque ay may mga bayan lamang na kayang patubigan isa na itong Sta Barbara pero karamihan sa mga bayan ng lalawigan ay di pa rin kayang patubigan kaya’t kailangan pa nating gumamit ng iba pangn mga resources upang mapatubigan ang mga ito
All of what was stated in the SONA was good but the most beautiful among PGMA’s statement was when she made mention that the Irrigation facility in the San Roque Multi Purpose dam will be done out of the VAT, that irrigation facility is just enough to water the farmlands of some towns like Sta Barbara however that Irrigation facility is not enough to deliver water supply to the farm areas of the Central Pangasinan going to the Western part therefore there would still be a need to look for other means of irrigating this farmlands.
Espino added that some of this existing irrigation facilities are now being rehabilitated by the provincial government while others are being rehabilitated by the National Irrigation Administration NIA.
The governor cited some of the irrigation facilities that were rehabilitated in the province.
Here in this town an irrigation facility amounting to 86 Million Pesos has been rehabilitated which according to Mayor Reynaldo Velasco can irrigate a thousand hectares of farmland, another one is the irrigation facility in Mangatarem and the town of Aguilar has been repaired especially right after the onslaught of the typhoon where this facilities where silted with debris.
Again, Espino emphasized that agriculture is his major thrusts, where 95 percent of the residents of Pangasinan are farmers and fisher folks reiterating Pangasinan is an agriculture productivity province where there is a need to maximize farm production in order to help other non-rice producing province in the country.