LGU Sorsogon City and DENR Forge Co-Management Agreement to Develop Paguriran Island as Eco-Tourism Zone
LGU Sorsogon City and DENR Forge Co-Management Agreement to Develop Paguriran Island as Eco-Tourism Zone

Paguriran2

 

Background

Presidential Decree No. 2152 dated December 21, 1981 declared certain parcel of land in the Municipality of Bacon (Bacon District), Sorsogon City as Mangrove Swamp Forest Reserve. Relatedly, DENR-DILG JMC 2003-01 and 98-01 provides that the LGU shall share with DENR the responsibility in the sustainable management and the development of the forest resources within their territorial jurisdiction.

 

Accordingly, the proposed Co-Management Agreement between LGU Sorsogon City and DENR was drafted with the following objectives: a) The DENR will turn over to the City Government of Sorsogon the control and administration of the Paguriran Island area vested upon it by virtue of P.D. 2152; b) The City Government accepts the turn-over of the Paguriran Island from the DENR;and c) The City Government will develop and administer Paguriran Island for the benefit and enjoyment of domestic and foreign tourists and the general public, according to the principles of sustainable development.

 

The area of concern under the proposed Agreement is the Paguriran Island area of the declared Mangrove Swamp Forest Reserves under P.D. 2152 with an area of One Hundred (100) hectares

 

Related Activities

            Pursuant to the proposed Co-Management Agreement, an Indicative Management Plan (IMP) was completed by the Paguriran TWG headed by City ENR Officer Ronando F. Gerona, Jr. and a Sangguniang Panlungsod Resolution was passed allowing the City Mayor to enter into a MOA with DENR. In addition, on August 4, 2016 the DENR Assessment and Monitoring Team, together with the LGU TWG and Barangay Officials conducted an ocular inspection at Paguriran Island to ascertain the feasibility of the proposed Co-Management Agreement and determine the pertinent activities to be undertaken to jump start the project. It was agreed, among others, that the LGU request assistance from DENR to a) Conduct a perimeter survey to delineate the A & D areas, Foreshore/Coastline areas, Salvage Zone, Protected areas, etc. and b) Conduct Full Site Assessment of the project area to come up with an inventory of Flora and Fauna in the area and other environmental parameters to rationalize the feasibility of the project. To this effect, a formal letter request was forwarded to DENR Regional Director Crisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez dated 05 August 2016 which was acted upon favorably.

 

Accordingly, on October 5-8, 2016, the DENR Technical Team headed by Ms. Ma. Cristina Delos Santos executed the aforesaid activities at the project area. The Team was divided into: a) Mangrove Team; b) Seagrass Team; c) Corrals Team; and d) Survey and Delineation Team. The DENR Team was assisted by technical and field personnel of CENRO, CASO, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, Bantay Dagat and Barangay Sawanga.

 

Initial Findings

            Initial assessment results showed the abundance of endemic and wide array of fishery and aquatic resources, being blessed with (2) diverse seas and major fishing grounds to include marine waters of Albay Gulf and Sugod Bay. These resources, however, are threatened by man-made and natural ecological destruction and also hard to come by in times of typhoon when fisher folks are compelled to temporarily desist from their fish farming activities which also affect the socio-economic condition of the community.Most fishing households are below the poverty threshold, making them more vulnerable to day-to-day shocks and climatic-induced hazards.

 

            More detailed and comprehensive assessment report to include survey results will be submitted by the DENR Technical Team to the LGU which will be the basis of further project activities and/or next steps.

(T. Fortes)