DAGUPAN CITY – After coming out with a new Comprehensive Land Use Plan, which is now subject for approval by the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board in Manila, the city is now being considered by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) as an aquaculture zone north of Manila.


Emmanuel Lopez of PEZA consulted with the city on February 16 especially with the Dagupan City Investment and Development Board (DCIDB) headed by City Administrator Farah Marie G. Decano to discuss the potentials of the city to host an aquaculture zone.


Decano was joined also in the meeting by former Councilor Karlos Liberato Reyna IV, other members of the board like former City Planning Officer Engineer Romeo Rosario, Engineer Roland Suni of the City Assessor’s Office, City Engineer Virginia Rosario, One Stop Business Center manager Randolph Ubando, City Accountant Melissa Mendoza and City Agriculture Officer Emma J. Molina.


Lopez opined that the city can venture further on the packaging and branding of its Bonuan bangus which is now being tagged in the market as Dagupan’s Best.


With the soft opening of the city’s processing facility at the Malimgas Market where deboning, packaging, which include blasting, and bangus smoking is being done, Lopez said that the city is on the right track in strengthening its aquaculture industry as an initial step.


Lopez also noted that the city’s strength is not on its land area but on its young people as well,  aside from the city’s aquaculture industry.


This is in lieu of the fact that Dagupan is considered as the center of education in the North due to the presence of three universities, several colleges and other educational institutions.


Lopez said that Dagupan just needed to improve the technical skills of the present generation to cope with the present pacing of technology.


“Sooner or later, artificial intelligence will replace the traditional call centers and we need to be ready for it,” said Lopez.


Lopez also lauded the land use planning initiative undertaken by Mayor Belen T. Fernandez which he considered as excellent as it also recognized the city’s hazards.


“It’s a good thing that you recognized the city’s hazards. That’s where good planning starts,” said Lopez.


At the end of the day, what Dagupan needs is a system that works to be a potential economic zone and not on its land area, added Lopez.


He pointed out that Singapore also has a limited land of only 400 square kilometers, yet it is now on top among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in terms of economy.  (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/Feb. 17, 2017)