By Leslie Ann Aquino
It is the hope of Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas that local government units will also improve the infrastructures around the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag in Pangasinan.
He said this as the bill seeking to declare the Basilica a pilgrimage site and tourist destination inches closer to becoming a law.
Last week, the House of Representatives unanimously approved on second reading House Bill 7882.
“We hope it animate the LGU to improve the infrastructures around the Basilica,” Villegas said in an interview.
He added the LGUs should also address the zoning of businesses, traffic management and security concerns.
The Lingayen Dagupan prelate then thanked the lawmakers behind the bill for recognizing the deep faith of the people of Pangasinan in God and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“It is a recognition of the firm faith in God and deep love for the Virgin among the people of Pangasinan. We are very grateful,” said Villegas.
The bill authored by Rep. Christopher V.P. De Venecia (4th District, Pangasinan) and Committee on Appropriations Chairman Karlo Alexei Nograles (1st District, Davao City) provides that the development of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag in the Municipality of Manaoag, Pangasinan shall be prioritized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and other concerned agencies, subject to rules and regulations governing the development of pilgrimage sites and tourist destinations.