Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. reported on the province’s accomplishments in the sustainable management and conservation of the Visayan Sea in a recent meeting in Iloilo City, a Provincial Environment Management Office press release said.
“Greed is the culprit in the destruction of the Visayan Sea,” Marañon said as he renewed his commitment to the other governors to pursue progressive and innovative measures to conserve the Visayan Sea.
“Anything that is good will prosper and will multiply. What we are doing today is good not only for us but also for our children”, he said.
The 4th Governors’ Meeting on the Visayan Sea Protection and Coastal Law Enforcement was attended by Governors Gwendolyn Garcia of Cebu, Rizalina Lanete of Masbate, and Arthur Defensor Sr. of Iloilo, as well as Asis Perez, DA-BFAR director, and Antonio Oposa, an environmental advocate.
Marañon reported that a 40-knot patrol boat has been bought and will be assigned to the Northern Negros Aquatic Resources Management Advisory Council, the press release said.
NNARMAC is composed of the eight coastal LGUs in the northern tip of Negros Occidental, five of them – the town of Manapla and the cities of Victorias, Cadiz, Sagay, and Escalante – abutting the Visayan Sea.
One million mangroves of various species will be grown in these areas as part of the commitments of Negros Occidental, PEMO said. The project will be implemented, through the P5 million financial assistance of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
Capacity-building initiatives were also held in Negros Occidental, including a seminar on the new rules of court on environmental cases, that was participated in by judges, prosecutors, clerks of courts, LGU legal officers, and volunteer-lawyers who called themselves Dampig sang Kapalibutan–Negros, the press release said.
Marañon said he will deputize “bantay-dagat” volunteers from various LGU alliances to complement LGU-based fishery officers and DENROs. Municipal fishery ordinances are also being harmonized and updated to include provisions on climate change adaptation and mitigation, river system management and disaster risk management, it added.
Asis said the campaign on the banning of the Danish Seine or “hulbot-hulbot” is gaining grounds, adding that the BFAR will assign two patrol boats to Negros Occidental for sea-borne patrols in the northern waters of the province.
The Philippines has been identified as one of the mega-biodiversity hotspots worldwide because of its marine and terrestrial natural capitals, and the threats that these natural resources are facing, the PEMO press release said.
A UN-FAO study, by Dr. Kent Carpenter, said the Philippines is the center of marine mega-biodiversity in the world, servicing at least 60 percent of marine life on earth. The Visayan Sea is at the heart of this marine mega-biodiversity site, it added.*