The province has declared the disputed mountainous village of Barangay Malico as the “Barangay Summer Capital of Pangasinan.”
This was after the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Pangasinan approved on Monday the resolution of the Sangguniang Bayan of San Nicolas requesting for the declaration.
During an out-of-town session of the provincial board, Pangasinan sixth district board member Noel Bince said the declaration of Malico as the Barangay Summer Capital of Pangasinan will reinforce their claim on Barangay Malico as an actual territory of the province of Pangasinan. The village is also being claimed by Nueva Vizcaya.
Despite the dispute, the mountain village has still been drawing more tourists for its cold weather, mountain range view, waterfalls, and sometimes a sea of clouds — plus its historical value in World War II.
The village situated on top of the Caraballo Mountain at 1,675 meters above sea level greets tourists with a cold breeze with the fresh scent of pine trees especially from December to February and sometimes extends up to the first week of March.
On Friday, Pangasinan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office operations and training head Vincent Chu said the village elevation is higher than that of Baguio City, bring a cold weather even during the summer.
Based on the data of the Malico Tourism Assistance Center, tourist arrivals peak at 500 or more on holidays and 100 or more on regular days. The highest recorded number of tourists so far was 1,000 on Jan. 2 this year.
A barangay operations center was opened in the village to ensure a faster disaster and emergency response in the area, especially in light of the increasing tourist arrivals in the village, Chu said in an interview.
“The barangay is far from the town proper and in hospitals. It is under geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas. We have already given training on basic life support, first aid, and transfer of patients to the barangay officials and the community members,” he added. (PNA)