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2nd district mayors create council for marine resource protection
By: Eleanor Valeros | Published Wednesday, December 16, 2020
The seven town mayors of the 2nd District of Cebu signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) creating the Southeast Cebu Coastal Resource Management Council Tuesday, December 15. (Tonee Despojo)

Mayors of the second district of Cebu signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the creation of the Southeast Cebu Coastal Resource Management Council (SCCRMC) and their shared protection of coastal resources Tuesday, December 15 in Boljoon town.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia expressed delight in this development as she was the one who inspired the council’s creation in 2005 during her first gubernatorial term.

Alcoy Mayor Michael Angelo Sestoso, Oslob Mayor Jose Tumulak Jr., Boljoon Mayor Merlou Derama, Santander Mayor Marites Buscato, Argao Mayor Allan Sesaldo, Dalaguete Mayor Jeffrey Belcina, and Samboan Mayor Emerito Calderon, Sr. represented by Association of Barangay Captains President and former Mayor Raymond Calderon inked the MOA.

SCCRMC’s creation adheres to the policy declared in Republic Act 10654 or the amended Philippine Fisheries Code wherein overriding consideration in the utilization, management, and development of coastal and marine resources is needed to achieve food security.

The council recognizes that the seven southeast Cebu towns have municipal waters that cover a portion of two of the important fisheries ecosystems in Central Visayas which are the Cebu-Bohol Strait and Tanon Strait Protected Seascape.

The council enables local government units (LGUs) to attain genuine and meaningful local autonomy in their responsibility of managing the environment and natural resources within their territorial jurisdiction.

Through the MOA, the Southeast Cebu towns agreed to work together within their common coastal ecosystem in order to maximize resources and benefits to be gained from a meaningful collaboration on habitat and fisheries protection and management, coastal tourism and management, and coastal protection and management, among others.

“Kinse anyos na ang milabay. Daghan nang panghitabo sa atong kinabuhi, daghan na ang atong naagian, apan nagpabilin gihapon ang pagpakabana sa atong mga mayor sa kalikupan ilabi na gayud sa atong kadagatan, ang coastal resources nga bahandi sa southeast towns,” Garcia expressed. 

“Mao na nakaingon ko molabay man ang hataas nga panahon, magkadilain man ang huyuhoy ug kolor sa politika, magkadilain man ang pilion sa katawhan sa pangatungdanan apan tingali gimbut-an gyud sa Kahitas-an nga kadtong mga gipili mao sab ang miangkon sa pagpakabana sa pagpanalipud sa atong kadagatan. And for this I congratulate all of our seven mayors,” she said.

The governor learned that the mayors have already agreed to contribute annual funds worth P50,000 each for the council. 

“Naa na man diay sila’y daghang kwarta. Duna na man sila’y P50,000 matag usa kada tuig. Pero basin magkuwang diay, ato lang unya nang pun-an,” she vowed.

Also present during the MOA signing are 2nd District Provincial Board Members Edsel Galeos and Jose Mari “Tata” Salvador, 2nd District Rep. Wilfredo Caminero, and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 Director Paquito Melicor, Jr. who was acknowledged by the governor on his serious commitment to support the council by showing up at the MOA signing of all other line agencies invited. (Eleanor Valeros)