VIGAN CITY, Sept. 23 (PIA) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Office I, represented by Regional Executive Director Atty. Crizaldy M. Barcelo, and the provincial government of Ilocos Sur, represented by Gov. Ryan Luis V. Singson, signed the Memorandum of Partnership Agreement (MOPA) in the implementation of the Ilocos Sur Foreshore Development and Management Plan (ISFDMP) at the Governor's Office, Provincial Capitol, Vigan City on Tuesday, Sept. 22.
"The ISFDMP was introduced by DENR as an approach to combat the underlying threats, issues, and concerns within our foreshore areas," said Dir. Barcelo.
He added, "In Region I, it was first piloted in Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte."
Under the MOPA, the DENR together with other national government agencies (NGAs) and the local government units (LGUs) to be bound in partnership to implement the plan towards a common goal of attaining the vision: a progressive and sustainable Foreshore Area of a world class heritage province that promotes ecotourism and socio-economic development, managed by God-fearing and empowered citizens guided by principle-centered leaders, to provide equal benefits for the present and future generation"
The Agreement also aims to strengthen the partnership between the DENR and the provincial government and the LGUs to improve, develop, manage, protect and conserve the foreshore areas of Ilocos Sur.
In her message, DENR Ilocos Sur Provincial Officer Rosemarie B. Jornacion said that during their fieldwork along foreshore areas in the province, they have noticed various environmental problems that need immediate and necessary actions.
"Noong nag-analyze tayo sa ating foreshore areas, nakita natin ang maraming problema. Isa dito ang improper waste disposal, maraming basura ang aming nakita. And isa, soil erosion kasi yung mga iba may mga illegal activities kung kaya't nag-eerode 'yung lupa. And then may mga illegal occupants pa tayong nakita, kaya ginagawan natin ngayon ng paraan na sana mabigyan ng relocation sites 'yung mga nakatira sa foreshore areas para sa ganon ay malinis natin at magkaroon tayo ng totoong programa para dito" she said.
Director Barcelo added that the plan is a guiding framework on the best management scheme to be adopted in a specific environment particularly on the identification of the highest and best used legally permissible, ecologically variable, socially acceptable and compatible with adjacent land uses from the particular area within the foreshore.
"The plan will be our guiding framework for the next 10 years in the management of coastal and fishery resources along our coastal areas, with the length of 158 kilometers more or less," he said.
He further said that it will be implemented within the 18 coastal municipalities and 111 coastal barangays of Ilocos Sur.
Ilocos Sur, as both a coastal and mountainous province, attracts tourists through the astonishing preservation, management and improvement of its environment and heritage.
With the changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic to the economy, Governor Singson is hopeful that with the help of the DENR and other NGAs, the LGUs and the community, the management plan will be implemented successfully and will eventually help with the recovery of the province of Ilocos Sur.
"For this to be successful, kailangan po nating magtulungan and we have to do our part. Let us cooperate with each other. Kung ano po ang mga programs niyo, ipaalam niyo po sa provincial government dahil andito lang po kami na tutulong at susuporta sa inyong mga proyekto," he said.
Also present during the event were Vice Governor Jeremias C. Singson, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member and Committee on Environment Chairman Christopher Baterina, and Mayors of coastal cities/municipalities in Ilocos Sur such as RDC Chair and Vigan City Mayor Juan Carlo S. Medina, Sta. Lucia Mayor Joseph Simon Valdez, San Esteban Mayor Ray M. Elaydo II, and Sta. Cruz Mayor Teresita C. Valle.
After the MOPA signing, Director Barcelo assured that various programs under the plan will be implemented this year.
"I hope with our continuous and concerted effort and collaboration, we will be successful in implementing this plan," he said. (JCR/JPD/JMQ, PIA Ilocos Sur)