Tagum City – Aiming to be climate change resilient, the City Government of Tagum partnered with Hijo Resources Corporation, Department of Science and Technology Region XI, and the University of Southeastern Philippines to bring back the colourful biodiversity in the Davao Gulf particularly in the vicinity of Hijo in barangay Madaum, Tagum City.
The three (3) areas located in Tancuan Creek to the proposed Hijo International Port were identified by the local government unit of Tagum through the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) during the conduct of Coastal and Marine Habitat Mapping and Reconnaissance Survey.
The two parties; the City Government of Tagum and Hijo Resources Corporation represented by Mayor Allan L. Rellon and HRC’s Vice Chairperson and CEO Rosanna T. Fores, respectively, signed a Memorandum of Agreement stating that both parties shall work together to maintain and care for the identified MPAs.
Furthermore, both agreed to endorse a unified approach in the management of newly created MPAs providing “…manpower, funding, expertise, training, and all relevant matters in pursuant with this agreement and especially the development, rehabilitation, maintenance, and awareness of environmental and ecological protection”.
On Promoting Nature and Eco-Tourism
Mayor Rellon expressed his excitement with the partnership of LGU Tagum and HRC for the future of Tagum.
“Mao ni ang example sa public and private partnership sa kinaiyahan. Mabalik ang sa unang panahon puhon daghan na ang mga isda dinhi, unya ang beauty ug nature niya magpabilin … part man ni sa climate change adaptation. Mag invite ni og more tourists to come.”, he said in an interview.
“This is an example of public and private partnership for the environment. Hopefully, [we] can restore its state before wherein there are plenty of fishes and the natural beauty of nature will remain the same … as this is also part of the climate change adaptation. This would also bring in more tourists.”, he said in an interview.
The Trinity Project
On their part, HRC is applying their “Trinity Project” which aims to biorestore the Davao gulf that would affect the economy, ecology, and community. Fores added that Hijo invested millions for this project over the past years and working together with the government and academic institutions helped them to pursue this initiative despite some setbacks in the past.
Research for Development
On the other hand, DOST Regional Director Anthony Sales highlighted the importance of research in making developmental plans for the community and said that they wanted to support by providing or addressing the need for data that will serve as basis for policies and programs, holding on to the thought that if the ecosystem here in Davao gulf could be fixed, all else will follow.
Meanwhile, the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement happened last October 27, 2020 at Lanikai, Hijo Resorts at Madaum and is expected to serve as proof of determination of LGU Tagum, the academe, and the private sector in fighting the climate change through sustainable projects that would benefit the Tagumenyos in the long run. Ziyarah Manalo/CIO Tagum
Mayor Allan L. Rellon thanks the Hijo Resources Corporation for their environmental preservation initiative, and the Department of Science and Technology Region XI together with the University of Southeastern Philippines for helping the private sector and the LGU Tagum to secure scientific data that is essential for creating development plans that would benefit the locality. Vinz Davo/CIO Tagum
(left-right in the table) DOST Regional Director Anthony Sales, Vice-chairperson and CEO Rosanna T. Fores, and Mayor Allan L. Rellon of Tagum City signs a Memorandum of Agreement last October 27, 2020 that shall serve as a bounding document in joint preservation and conservation of identified MPAs along Hijo’s coastline. The MOA signing is witnessed by the City Environment and Natural Resources’ Head Vivian Bahalla and some of the LGU employees, Hijo Resources Corporation’s employees, Department of Science and Technology XI representatives, and Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ representatives. Vinz Davo/CIO Tagum