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The Online Magazine for Sustainable Seas
September, 1998 Vol. 1 No. 9

Local Action

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Palawan

CRMP’s work in Palawan focuses on San Vicente, 180 km from Puerto Princesa. Known to the outside world primarily for its 14-km White Beach, San Vicente is, to CRMP, a rich ground for instituting programs in coastal resource management. This municipality northwest of Puerto Princesa City has four out of the 165 fishing grounds found in Palawan: Imuruan Bay, Caruray, Pagdanan and Jibbon Bay. With forest reserve areas covering 86.8% or 68,834 hectares of the total land area of nearly 80,000 hectares and a coastline extending to 120 kms, majority of San Vicente’s 20,000 residents depend on fishing for livelihood.

Plan for Marine Park pushed
A draft plan for the establishment of a marine park in Port Barton is expected to be approved by the village council and then endorsed to the municipal government of San Vicente in November or December. Part of the plan is to set up a "CRM information center", actually waiting sheds converted to information booths dedicated to animals found in the area (each booth will be named after a marine animal). The plan also includes a solid waste management project and the zonation of municipal waters.

Meanwhile the enterprise development team launched in November a demo farm for seaweeds, grouper, siganids and abalone. "We will soon identify project cooperators for a pilot seaweed farm as well as for mariculture," said Provincial Coordinator Benjamin Francisco.

Province holds first Handog sa Dagat
Palawan staged its first ever "Handog sa Dagat" September 28 in celebration of the International Year of the Ocean 1998. The affair was held at the Capitol Gounds with key local officials in attendance, including Palawan Vice Governor and Acting Governor Joel T. Reyes and Puerto Princesa Vice Mayor, Acting Mayor Vicky de Guzman and Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff Executive Director Joselito Alisuag.
Pre-launched during the International Coastal Cleanup Day last September 19, Handog is intended to be a continuous activity, an opportunity to work together regardless of political affiliation because, as Alisuag put it, "there are no turfs in the ocean."
Handog is laid out in a five-year development plan focusing on public information and awareness, said De Guzman, urging the crowd of government employees and students who gathered for the September 28 launching of Handog to give future generations the opportunity to "enjoy the bounty of nature that God has endowed us."

The program was launched simultaneously in Palawan's 23 municipalities, said Reyes. "Maybe with today's launching of Handog we can begin to take collective action and do something to arrest the degradation of our marine resources."
Handog, a week-long celebration, was organized by the PCSCDS, Palawan's highest policymaking body for development, in cooperation with other government agencies, including the province's Environment and Natural Resources Office and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources through CRMP.

Palawan starts I Love the Ocean membership drive
The membership drive in Palawan for the I Love the Ocean Movement for Sustainable Seas, initiated early this year by CRMP to provide the public with an opportunity to participate actively in efforts to protect and save our seas, was launched at the start of the Handog celebration last September 28. Bandillo ng Palawan Foundation, a cause-oriented group based in Puerto Princesa City, has agreed to serve as the anchor organization of the Movement in Palawan. As anchor organization, Bandillo will take responsibility for recruiting members who will help advance the Movement's cause.

The Movement was launched in the province last July by DENR's Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) in Palawan. Palawan follows Cebu, Metro Manila and Negros Oriental in initiating its own membership drive for I Love the Ocean.  
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