Solon lobbies for marine protection of Masbate's Sombrero Islands

Solon lobbies for Masbate's Sombrero Islands marine protection
Photo: http://sanpascual.gov.ph/
A lawmaker is pushing for the approval of a bill declaring the Sombrero Turtle and Sea Eagle Islands as Marine Protected Areas under the category of wildlife sanctuary and as an important critical habitat in the Bicol region.

Rep. Maria Vida E. Bravo (1st District, Masbate) filed House Bill 6364 mandating the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Protected Area Superintendent Office (PASu) under the general supervision of the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) to prepare a 25-year management plan in consultation with local government units, local communities, concerned government agencies and experts who may extend their services.

“It is incumbent upon Congress to declare the Sombrero Turtle and Sea Eagle Island Sanctuary as Protected Area and Critical Habitat in order to safeguard its ecological significance and protect the diminishing population of the Hawksbill Turtles (Erethmochelys Imbricate) and Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia Mydas),” Bravo said.

Bravo said the bill is in consonance with the policy of the State to protect the nation’s marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial seas and economic seas and economic zone and reserve its enjoyment to the Filipino citizen.

According to her, the Sombrero Turtle and Sea Eagle Island Wildlife Sanctuary and Critical Habitat cover all the lands and waters comprising within the Barangay of Iniwaran, Municipality of San Pascual, Masbate.

Bravo said the island is also the nesting site of the Sea bird (White breasted Sea Eagle) including the terrestrial and marine ecosystem and resources and its hosts, as well as provide for its regimented management.

The bill also intends to establish additional measures for the preservation and protection of the Philippine biological diversity and promote ecological sustainable development, Bravo said.

“The measure aims to expand the participation of the private sector in the conservation of the environment by providing for incentives and a strong science-based framework which will guide the programs and activities for the same,” Bravo noted.

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