LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – Governor Amado “Pogi” I. Espino, III has extended the provincial administration’s gratitude to the stakeholders of the tourism industry in the region when he led the kick-off ceremonies of the Regional Tourism Week celebration recently here.
Addressing hundreds of tourism key players from the four provinces in the region who attended the regional tourism week opening ceremonies held at the Sison Auditorium, Governor Espino stressed that the provincial leadership has been steadfast in elevating tourism development in Pangasinan.
“It has been the drive of the provincial government since my predecessor, former Pangasinan Governor and now 5th District Representative Amado T. Espino, Jr., sat as provincial chief executive to make Pangasinan as the best place to invest, work, live and raise a family,” Governor Espino bared in his speech as he noted that tourism is among the thrusts in governance that the provincial administration has been passionate at.
Governor Espino, who turned emotional while welcoming the regional delegates to the province, said that the Espino family’s commitment to love and protect Pangasinan remains despite some malicious issues thrown at them by their political detractors.
Elated over the good news that President Rodrigo Duterte has cleared his father’s involvement from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) drug matrix, Governor Pogi found strength and inspiration with the presence of delegates of the tourism event coming from three other provinces in the region.
Last Tuesday afternoon, Pres. Duterte has issued a public apology to Cong. Espino and other Pangasinan officials who were previously dragged in the NBP drug matrix controversy.
Governor Pogi further noted that the vision of his father to make Pangasinan Capitol as a premier tourist destination in Pangasinan is an understatement, following the upgrading of the buildings and facilities and beautification of the environs of the Capitol complex and the uplifting of morale of Capitol employees in serving the public.
“Nobody then would have thought that the Capitol will reach its present state as the prime tourist destination in Pangasinan,” he said.
Meanwhile, Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim, Jr, who also sits as Sangguniang Panlalawigan chairperson of the committee on tourism, culture and arts, said that the province of Pangasinan has opened its doors to anyone who would like to explore its tourism destinations and experience the must-try wonders of the province.
Urging the regional tourism event delegates to advocate tourism, Vice Governor Calimlim challenged them: “Be the number one attraction in your respective localities.”
The kick-off ceremonies of the tourism week revelry also included the oath-taking of the new set of officers of the Pangasinan Tourism Officers’ Association and the Pangasinan Association of Hospitality Institutions that were administered by Governor Espino.
By Dexter A. See