News Release

Pangasinan gov anticipates salt industry updates during SONA

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – Governor Ramon Guico III is hoping to hear about the programs and accomplishments in the salt industry during the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on July 24.

Guico will also await plans for housing for informal settlers, health programs, and job generation.

“In the President’s upcoming SONA, in particular for Pangasinan, I would like to hear about the program and accomplishment in agriculture, particularly something about the salt industry and salt production in the country,” said Guico in an interview on Tuesday.

Since Pangasinan‘s name comes from Asinan which means salt, Guico said he is hopeful the President could mention the production sharing agreement with the more than 400 hectares salt farm in the province.

“There’s a production sharing agreement between DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) and the province. Whatever output will be shared by the province and the national agency, I hope it could be mentioned by the President because it’s going to be an honor for Pangasinan because we have acted on a very important program of the President. Although, it’s just salt, it is a basic commodity. Without salt, there is no flavor and without salt, we cannot preserve our food,” he said.

The governor also said that it is worth mentioning by the President how great its impact on food security.

“It’s an accomplishment of the administration, of the President, being the Agriculture Secretary,” Guico said.

Salt production has been considered a national issue in the past year since most of the supply is imported from other countries.

A salt congress was held in Pangasinan last year to tackle the issue while the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) has launched in the province a project to develop the salt industry through “Oplan Asin.”

Guico said he also would want to hear updates on the housing program of the President.

“We are very excited to align ourselves with the call of the President. Housing is a basic need that we have to fulfill and give to our constituents,” he said.

The province needs to build 170,000 housing units in the next 10 years or 17,000 units per year, he said.

“I hope that the subsidy would be included in the General Appropriations Act for 2024. I hope there would be a concrete program for the informal settlers. I hope the President and the National Housing Authority would have a crystal clear program for the informal settlers. I also agree with the President that we should promote more vertical spaces and preserve agriculture production areas,” he added.

Guico likewise expects to hear about the concrete program for the preventive side of health as well as the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law.

“On health, we are still not (totally) out of the pandemic. There is still the need for a concrete program for the preventive side of health and how we roll out the UHC Law. It’s a challenge because we need an overhaul of the entire healthcare system. We need a mechanism especially that we are piloting and there are a lot of questions, “he said.

Job generation is another much-awaited topic, Guico added.

Meanwhile, Pangasinan Police Provincial Office director Col. Jeff Fanged thanked President Marcos for the continuous modernization of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“Sapagkat simula ng maupo ang ating Pangulo hindi lang nangako kundi tuloy tuloy ang suporta sa ating kapulisan katulad ng pagbili ng makabago at malalakas na sandata at mga makabagong sasakyan at marami pang iba (It is because the President fulfills his promise and continues his support for the police through the purchase of modern and strong weapons as well as vehicles, and many more,” he said.

He added that through those equipment, their capacity to serve the people is strengthened in many ways.

“Hopefully, pagdating sa welfare ng PNP members, sana magkaroon na ng win-win solusyon pagdating sa pagsasaayos ng military and uniformed personnel (MUP) pension provisions sapagkat hindi lamang ang PNP personnel ang makikinabang bagkus pati ang kani-kanilang pamilya (Hopefully, when it comes to the welfare of the PNP members, we hope that there will be a win-win solution to the MUP pension provisions as it will not only benefit the PNP personnel but also their families). Rest assured, under my leadership as provincial director of this province, we will be your partner in ensuring a secure, peaceful and crime free community,” Fanged said. (PNA)