MNWD towards Sustainable Ecotourism Development

The Metropolitan Naga Water District (MNWD) showcased its best practices and experiences in protecting and conserving its watersheds within the Mount Isarog Natural Park (MINP) during the learning visit last August 11, 2017 by representatives from DENR Central Office, DENR Regional Office V, DENR Southern Luzon Cluster, National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), Bicol University (BU), Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA), Department of Tourism (DOT) MIMAROPA, and Local Government Units of Naga, Legazpi, and Parañaque City at the Protected Area Office (PAO), Panicuason, Naga City.

The event was formally opened by Mr. Domingo L. Ramos, the Punong Barangay of Panicuason and right after, Naga City Mayor John G. Bongat acknowledged and expressed his warm welcome to the participants. He emphasized the harmonious relationship between the MNWD and LGU and commended the MNWD for having a dynamic and visual oriented Chairman. The Malabsay Falls ecotourism development project was also discussed wherein he presented the newly repaired structures within the compound including the foot trail, guard house, water system and the solar powered Visitor Information Center (VIC) building. He likewise presented the plans of DENR, DOT and the LGU of maximizing the utilization of resources to cater the needs of local and national tourists, through responsible ecotourism programs while protecting and conserving the MINP.

The briefing regarding MINP was presented by Mr. Bonifacio P. Azur, Planning Officer II, DENR-PENRO. Among the highlights were the proclamation of MINP as a protected area by virtue of Proclamation No. 214 series of 2002, the DENR plans, different reforestation measures including rehabilitation and management activities undertaken with the help of other agencies in order to ensure sustainable development, environmental protection and preserve the economic and ecological values of the protected area.

The MNWD Chairman of the Board Jorge T. Palma shared the best practices and stories behind the success of the Integrated Watershed Management Program (IWMP) for the two (2) watersheds being managed by MNWD, the Anayan –Rumangrap and Kanilisan-Nabuntulan Watersheds. He also emphasized that the sustained collaboration with the stakeholders and inclusion of the immediate community of the watershed proved to be a valuable catalyst towards the successful conservation, rehabilitation, and protection of the MNWD watersheds inside MINP. The MNWD’s plans and programs for sustainability and replication of its watershed management projects was likewise presented.

In behalf of the City ENRO, Mr. Alec Francis Santos of the Naga City Arts, Culture and Tourism Office (ACTO) presented the LGU’s plans and programs for the protection and conservation of the MINP through eco-tourism development which focused on the benefits of eco-tourism to the community by creating more livelihoods, commercial expansion by increasing revenues brought by increasing number of tourists visiting the area and environmental protection through responsible ecotourism and maximizing public awareness.

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Representatives from DENR Central Office, DENR Regional Office V, DENR Southern Luzon Cluster, National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), Bicol University (BU), Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA), Department of Tourism (DOT) MIMAROPA, and Local Government Units of Naga, Legazpi, and Parañaque City at the Protected Area Office (PAO), during learning visit last August 11, 2017 at Panicuason, Naga City.

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