Personnel from CENRO Catanauan together with the personnel from PENRO-Quezon represented by For. Janeth R. Salazar and Regional CRFMS Chief, For. Jefferson G. Cruz provides technical assistance in the establishment of Marine Protected Area Network of the LGU managed MPAs within Ragay Gulf, Quezon side held at Queen Margarette Hotel, Lucena City last August. 

Through stakeholders’ consultation and planning workshop for the establishment of MPAN within Ragay Gulf, Quezon side, CENRO Catanauan has able to disseminate and coordinate with the stakeholders of Ragay Gulf regarding the plans and activities set for MPAN, based on the DENR implementing guidelines on Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program (CMEMP). It is also in line with the target under Technical Assistance (TA) component of CMEMP towards the establishment of an MPA Network of all the locally managed MPAs within the LGUs of Ragay Gulf within the province of Quezon.

There are five (5) LGUs involved in the establishment of Ragay Gulf MPAN; these are the LGUs of Tagkawayan, Guinayangan, Buenavista, San Narciso and San Andres. The consultation and planning workshop was attended by the LGU’s Municipal Agriculturist, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (MENRO), the SB Committee on Environment and Fisheries. The Local Chief Executives of Tagkawayan and Guinayangan who personally expressed their full support in the undertaking of Ragay Gulf MPAN. It is further strengthened with the participation of our stakeholders from the other agencies and organizations such as the SLSU representing the Academe, PNP-Maritime Group, Philippine Coast Guard, Quezon PNP, PNP Maritime Group, DA-BFAR and Tanggol Kalikasan. Other representatives of the aforementioned agencies and participants from the CDD-CRFMS and CENROs also joined via Zoom. 

FT II Elliane Jade P. Gadela introduced the CMEMP emphasizing the importance of coastal and marine environment to the welfare of society as source of food, livelihood, and recreation and as life support system for diverse organisms and the mechanisms that will help improve the ecological state of its resources through CMEMP activities and efforts.

For. Jefferson G. Cruz, Chief of Coastal Resources and Foreshore Management Section (CRFMS), tackled the procedures in Networking locally managed MPAs as one of the major strategies of CMEMP in reducing the drivers and pressures on coastal and marine ecosystems thereby enhancing ecosystem functions and services. 

Lastly, For. Janeth R. Salazar from the PENRO presented the draft Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the establishment of Ragay Gulf MPAN in which she highlighted the tasks, duties and responsibilities of each stakeholder in the development and implementation of a multi-sectoral, multi-institutional mechanism of the MPAN. 

One of the suggestions raised by the stakeholders is to collaborate with the other LGUs within the Ragay Gulf areas in Region V to create an MPAN not only for the Quezon side but for the whole Ragay Gulf. 

In response, the attending Local Chief Executives of Tagkawayan and Guinayangan expressed their full support in the establishment of MPAN in the Ragay Gulf as a whole. They also extended their gratitude for facilitating the activity as it means of managing and protecting coastal and marine habitats.###