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Pangasinan bags Likas Yaman Award in Region 1

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, June 27 — Pangasinan province will receive the most-coveted Likas Yaman award on June 30 for having the "Best Local Government Unit (LGU)-initiated environmental project (provincial category)" in the entire Region 1.

Governor Amado Espino Jr. will receive the award in a ceremony in San Fernando City, culminating the Environment Month this June spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Provincial Administrator Rafael F. Baraan said the award was the result of hard work, dedication and unity among leaders and the people of Pangasinan to further the cause of environmental protection as proven by the various programs and projects launched by the present provincial administration.

“We are reaping the fruits of our labor,” Baraan said during a flag-raising ceremony today at Capitol Plaza, adding that through the initiative of Governor Espino, environmental awareness "has slowly become an integral part in the lives of Pangasinenses nowadays."

The provincial government has formed Task Force Kalikasan that successfully conducted massive river and waterways clean-up drive in Pangasinan that sought to revive and free the Agno River and other river tributaries from illegal fishing structures.

An environmentalist, Espino started his environmental crusade in early 1990s when he was still the Police Provincial Director of Pangasinan when he launched his Save the Lingayen Gulf (SLING) Movement.

This was followed by his Green the Mountains Again project which he launched during his term as the congressman of the 2nd congressional district of Pangasinan from July 2001 to June 2007.

Massive tree planting activities served as one of the forefront activities of the governor’s environment agenda with more than five million seedlings already distributed to various schools, Rotary Clubs, non-government organizations and LGUs throughout Pangasinan.

At present, there are one million seedlings available and ready to be planted in the mountainous areas of the province where sites are partly denuded and need to be reforested to bring back the verdant environs and to mitigate the effects of global warming.

The governor likewise launched a special project recently in coordination with the PNP and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENRO) involving the arrest or seizure of persons who will be caught throwing garbage on rivers.

The governor offered a P10,000 cash reward for every Pangasinense who can arrest or seize persons disposing garbage in rivers and waterways. (PNA)

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