THE local government unit of Pangasinan, headed by Gov. Amado Espino 3rd has launched the two-pronged program ”Abig Pangasinan” to address urgent concerns caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic through the promotion of good health (abig laman) and good life (abig bilay).

Gov. Amado Espino 3rd - Pangasinan battle cry: Prevail over the pandemic
Gov. Amado Espino 3rd. FB Photo

Abig is a local word that broadly means healing, betterment, goodness, wellness, prosperity, beauty and welfare.

Espino said “Abig Pangasinan” is the province’s expression of support for the “We Heal As One” pitch of the national government.

The program forms part of the Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan CY (calendar year) 2020-2022 of Pangasinan that has been submitted to the regional office of the National Economic and Development Authority for integration into the Region 1 plan.

“Wala tayong hindi makakaya kung tayo ay nagkakaisa (There is nothing that we cannot achieve if we are united),” the governor was quoted as saying in his speeches during the conduct of the “Abig Pangasinan Karaban” in various towns of the province.

At of this writing, the ”Abig Pangasinan Karaban” had visited 16 towns, namely Laoac, Balungao, Mabini, Labrador, San Jacinto, Mapandan, Dasol, Alcala, Basista, San Fabian, Agno, Asingan, Aguilar, San Quintin, Pozzorubio and Sual.

Even as Pangasinan fights the pandemic, the two-pronged program, according to Espino, aims for enhanced healthcare system, increased agricultural productivity and agri-support services, livelihood assistance, manpower development and employment, environmental protection and management, disaster risk reduction and management, infrastructure support development, tourism promotion and development, and strengthened social welfare services.

Under the livelihood assistance, the “Karagdagang Pangkabuhayan” (Cash For Work) scheme provides temporary employment and income to identified beneficiaries from the basic sectors, whose members work in community projects each for P400 a day.

At present, the beneficiaries work in the “Adopt a Mountain Project,” clearing 110 hectares of land in Barangay Cayanga in Bugallon town for reforestation in support of the National Greening Program Farm.

For its environmental and agricultural components, “Abig Pangasinan,” through the office of the provincial agriculturist, recently distributed a total of 18,140 seedlings of fruit-bearing trees, vegetables and mangroves while 32,000 tilapia fingerlings were also given to farmers.

A total of P7 million in financial assistance to hog raisers, who were affected by African swine fever, was also recently provided on top of a total of P28 million handed out by the Department of Agriculture to the hog raisers’ sector.

Testing its constituents for Covid-19 was given priority where the provincial government entered into an agreement with Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.

Continuous improvement of the 14 government hospitals and provision of additional hospitals have resulted in higher recoveries from the coronavirus than deaths in the province.

For further medical intervention, the provincial government has kicked off the “Abig Laman ed Barangay-Mini Kalusugan Karaban” that offers free laboratory tests and x-ray services in the remotest areas in Pangasinan.

During a recent visit to Aguilar town, Espino called on parents and local officials to join efforts of the provincial government in preventing the spread of Covid-19 in the province.

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