The Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Region 12 (DENR-R12) has renewed its partnership agreement with three business establishments within the Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape (SBPS).

DENR-Region 12 Director Nilo B. Tamoria signed the memorandum of agreement for joint efforts in the management, protection and conservation of the protected area with Bayani B. Fredeluces, senior vice president of RD Fishing Industry Incorporated; Engracio Sestina, vice president and general manager of Philbest Canning Corporation; and Dr. Delfin Besquillo, Jr., owner of Coco Beach Resort.

Sarangani Gov. and co-chair of SBPS Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) Steve Chiongbian Solon witnessed the signing of the said MOA.

Under the MOA, the DENR and the business enterprises shall jointly manage, protect and conserve as well as develop and enhance the resources potentials of SBPS for the benefit and enjoyment of the communities as well as the general public.

Specifically, the companies shall implement all programs, projects and activities identified in the Comprehensive Development and Management Plan, which was prepared in accordance with the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act.

Tamoria also said the participating establishments will also help in addressing environmental problems facing the Sarangani Bay. “The DENR will strictly monitor the compliance of business establishments and the tourism business providers to environmental laws. We will be issuing Notice of Violations (NOVs) to those who would violate environmental laws,” he said.

SPBS Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) Iskak Dipatuan said that prior to the signing of MOA, a series of assessment and re-assessment were conducted by the DENR- PASu team.

“We had conducted appraisal/re-appraisal of the existing land being occupied by them and the improvement and structures introduced. Based on the re-assessment report, we favorably endorsed to SBPS-PAMB, through a resolution, the renewal of the MOA for special uses within SBPS,” Dipatuan said.

The MOA serves as a binding instrument between the PAMB and the owners and operators of business enterprises for the occupation and use of foreshore/coastal areas of SBPS as defined under Presidential Proclamation No. 756, and pursuant to the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the NIPAS Act.

Sarangani Bay is known for its rich biodiversity, harboring a wide variety of ecosystems ranging from mangroves to seagrasses to the varying depths of its coral reefs. Sarangani Bay was declared a protected seascape by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 756, dated March 5, 1996. ###