Magpale: 4th district PB reps are key in Malapascua return to D’bantayanBy Carmel Loise Matus
Cebu Daily News
FOURTH district representatives in the Provincial Board may be crucial in reverting the Malapascua island management to Daanbantayan town according to Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale.
“I have suggested to the Provincial Board members of the 4th district to initiate the change in the Memorandum of Agreement, but only with the conscurrence of the other signatories of the agreement,” Magpale told Cebu Daily News.
The management of the Malapascua Island which is known internationally for its dive sites and white sand beaches of the northern tip of Cebu island was transferred to the provincial government in 2006.
This year however, the municipality of Daanbantayan where the tourism island is located wants to manage the island.
Magpale emphasized that the town must convince the five other signatories of the MOA to support the reversion of the island’s management from the Capitol to the municipal government of Daanbantayan.
The signatories of the 2006 Memorandum of Agreement aside from Daanbantayan and the Capitol are the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
PB member Joven Mondigo one of the 4th district representatives , told CDN that he will study the matter.
He said that as of yesterday, he received no request whether formal or verbal from the municipal government on the matter.
As of now, there is a pending bill in the House of Representatives declaring the island as an eco-tourism area. The bill also includes the management of the island. It’s something that we also have to tackle on,” he added.
Town Mayor Ma. Luisa Loot wants to regain management of the island because of several stalled projects there.
After her falling out with Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia following the 2010 election, Loot said she looks forward to a better chance of initiating projects in the island, whose waters are a world-famous diving spot with white sand beaches that gave Malapascua the monicker “Little Boracay”.
“Where are the projects in Malapascua? Those are just stories and claims that projects have already been bidded out,” Loot said.
She said that if it can’t happen now, it would have to wait until 2013 elections is over.