The Municipal Tourism Council [MTC], Chaired by Mayor Edna Gacot-Lim, led the installation of anchor buoys at Natnat Is., Commando Beach, South Miniloc, Big Lagoon and Shimizu Is. MTC President, Tani Distal, led the private sector’s participation in the said project. Environmental degradation caused by the growing tourism industry prompted MTC to prioritize buoy installation. The buoys will serve as immobile anchors for tourist boats to avoid accidental damage to corals caused by thrown anchors.
“We allocated Php 130,000 from the Eco-Tourism Development Fee [ETDF] for the first phase of the project,” Mr. Eduardo Lorenzo, El Nido’s Coastal Resource Management Officer, said. The next phase of the project will include Small Lagoon, Star Beach, Helicopter Is. and Ipil Beach. Aside from the buoy project, ETDF Management Board gave Php 210,000 for the Crown of Thorns [COT] gathering. COT is a kind of starfish that feed on coral polyps. [Arvin Acosta, LGU]