Mayor Hernani A. Braganza
Be with us...
as we recapture the magic of the Hundred Islands, restore a marine ecosystem,
and build a sustainable local economy
Welcome to the City of Alaminos, the city of the Hundred Islands. We invite you
to be a part of a balanced, sustainable development model that is beginning to
Alaminos is home to the Hundred Islands National Park, the very first
national park in the Philippines. It is also the heart of Western
Pangasinan, its center of commerce, finance, education, industry and services.
We are a new city, barely four years old, but we already have the fourth largest
economy in Pangasinan, itself the largest province in the Philippines in
terms of population.
We are growing rapidly, but this growth needs to be stimulated and managed
well. Growth comes from increasing trade and commerce, but this tends to
benefit a few - mostly traders, middlemen and shop owners. The city government
also pump primes the local economy through funds received from the national
government, but this breeds fiscal dependence. We need a more sustainable
source of growth.
Broader participation of our people, including the poorer segments in
productive economic activities, is sustainable. A challenge we are faced with,
therefore, is how to stimulate our people, specially the poor to participate in
economic activities so they can benefit more from growth and development. A
third of our 6,000 families are classified as indigents.
But this is only one of the challenges facing us today.
We are beginning to realize the kind of development we aspire
for. We are determined to make it happen. We hope to succeed. So
our people can benefit more. And we can contribute to the development
of the whole country. This will be our legacy.
The Hundred Islands National Park was once the premier land and sea
tourism destination in the province of Pangasinan, indeed in the entire Luzon
mainland. Its miniaturized representation of the diversity of the Philippine
Islands has captured the imagination of Filipinos and foreigners alike.
But we have suffered setbacks in the past decade, due to the emergence of many
alternative destinations in the south, some boasting of unparalleled beach
quality. Previous captive markets such as personnel from American military
bases in Clark, Pampanga and Subic, Zambales have also gone, with the closure
of these bases in the early nineties. Our tourism industry slumped.
Displaced communities, once benefiting from tourism, exerted pressure on the
marine resources of the Hundred Islands for livelihood. Illegal fishing
activities proliferated and the fragile marine habitats were scraped. Now the
once thriving marine sanctuary and national park, which supports the Lingayen
Gulf large marine ecosystem, is threatened.
But we are determined to bring back the magic of the Hundred Islands,
and its underwater life.
We have put together a Coastal Resources Management Program, which
combines rehabilitation, conservation, protection, stewardship, responsible use
and economic alternatives to restore the health of the marine ecosystem.
We are also repositioning the Hundred Islands. A marine theme park, fish
sanctuaries, inter-island floating “bridges”, a living Marine Institute,
an “adopt-an-island” scheme, and other innovative programs will infuse a
new magic into the islands. The park will no longer be just a sand and sea
destination. It will also be an ecological theme park with educational value.
And adventure, too. It will be unique, and unparalleled once more. It is, after
all, the largest marine sanctuary in the Philippines.
Agricultural development is also a challenge we are confronting squarely. Close
to 80% of our lands are arable, and yet we are self sufficient only in rice.
Two thirds of our households are farming but, three fourths of the lands they
till are rain fed. Therefore most of them are poor.
For the first time in years, we are appropriating a big chunk of our
development budget for agriculture. We have an innovative program, called Ocho-Ocho,
named after a popular song of the same title, which clusters small landholdings
into farm management and enterprise units of eight hectares each. This is an
integrated, people-oriented agricultural development and modernization program.
We plan to do more.
We have an infrastructure development program to improve access to power, safe
water services and markets for our produce. We will promote investments by both
local businessmen and outsiders in light agro-industry. We will invest in
capability building for our human resource. These will make Alaminos a
competitive center of industry, commerce and services.
And we will take care of our people.
We have expanded basic services for all and specialized social services for the
most vulnerable sectors. We are improving primary and secondary health
services, upgrading the capacities of our schools, particularly in information
technology. We are operating a crisis intervention center for victims of crime,
domestic violence and disabling conditions. We have deputized Public Safety and
Order officers who are trained civilians that will back up our police
capability. We are determined to make Alaminos City a safe and humane
place to live in.
In order to be able to respond to the above challenges we have to re-invent
ourselves as public servants. We need to modernize the way we conduct the
business of governance. We need to enhance transparency, efficiency and
responsiveness, in order to secure our people’s continuing trust and
cooperation. And we will hit the road running. We are an action oriented
government. We have defined the primary role of the city government in relation
to our stakeholders, partners and beneficiaries.
The city government cannot respond to all the challenges alone and provide
We are a provider of opportunities to the broadest segments of our people as
possible, so they can participate and benefit from development. As a city
government, we are an integrator of development initiatives at different
levels. The barangays or villages have their programs, national agencies have
theirs, and so do non-government organizations, people’s groups and civic
societies. We serve as the architect of holistic development for the city, so
we can achieve synergy in our efforts that will lead to meaningful and
Finally, we set standards. Of service to our people. Of the quality of life we
hope to enjoy. Of the level of effort we need to exert. We set goals and
targets for the things that we do. We aspire to define our governance in
professional terms. We have a development paradigm. Competitiveness, growth
with equity, resource management and sustainable use, social services for all
and safety nets for the vulnerable form the cornerstones of our development
paradigm. We will respond to the development challenges in Alaminos guided
by this development paradigm. We are convinced we can make it happen. We have
the resolve, a newfound dynamism and a shared vision. And we have an able work
We are beginning to realize the kind of development we aspire for. We are
determined to make it happen. We hope to succeed. So our people can benefit
more. And we can contribute to the development of the whole country. This will
be our legacy.
Join us and be our partners in our pursuit of a better Alaminos, a
better Philippines, a better world.