The Provincial Government of Pangasinan and the University of the Philippines signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on June 18 at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City for the establishment of Pangasinan Study Center and other collaborative efforts to promote the culture and history of the province.
Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. and UP President Alfredo Pascual signed the partnership agreement with Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim, Jr. and UP Vice President for Public Affairs J. Prospero De Vera, an ASNA awardee, as witnesses.
“This is a dream come true,” said Gov. Espino, noting that for the past eight years the province under his watch tried to recapture the beautiful culture and traditions of the province.
“With this partnership, our friends from the premiere university in the country will help us to make our dream a reality so that we can bring back to life the rich cultural heritage of Pangasinan,” Gov. Espino said as he thanked the University of the Philippines under the leadership of Pascual for the technical assistance and expertise that they will provide.
The governor informed those in attendance during the signing that the province now has a Pangasinan Hymn, a history book and a historical and cultural commission. Gov. Espino also said that Pangasinan language is used during flag-raising ceremonies and during the first Friday Mass at the Capitol.
Also, the use of “Pangalatok,” a deregatory brand of the people of Pangasinan has long been discouraged and a more appropriate word is now being used to describe his provincemates, that is, “Pangasinenses.”
The UP President said the the university and Pangasinan signed a historic MOU “geared towards realizing our collective dream of preserving and promoting our country’s distinct cultural heritage.”
With this MOU, the UP exercises and manifests its public service mandate as it supports the Pangasinan provincial government efforts in protecting and promoting its rich cultural heritage, Pascual said.
UP’s officials and faculty members and staff particularly those who trace their roots in Pangasinan will be tapped as advisers, consultants and resource persons, he added.
He stressed that UP will be sharing its expertise in raising awareness about Pangasinan’s historical and cultural contributions to the nation.
According to the signed MOU, the development of Pangasinan Studies Center will be established in an appropriate university in the province with the assistance of the LGU-Pangasinan and UP.
One key activity of the partnership is the tourism promotion particularly in the development of Agno River and the local government along its banks into tourist destinations through a river cruise project and guided historical tours.
For this project, the UP president said: “I am now offering our tourism experts and historians to make sure that this laudable project will be as good if not better than the Bohol-Loboc and Palawan underground river cruise.”
A capacity building will also be conducted for identified provincial personnel and offices particularly on information management, social media, health promotion, education management and governance.
The activity was also attended by some provincial board members, UP professors who are from Pangasinan, PSU officials and some department heads of the province.
Also in attendance was President Pacual’s wife Carmen who traces her roots in Dagupan City and Lingayen. (OMV)