Monday, July 11, 2011

Sustainable tourism: Creating Task Force Maniwaya

The kind of tourism that sustainable tourism promotes is one that aims to make a low impact on the environment and the involved community while helping to generate income for the locals. Sustainable tourism is promoted through effective governance that considers factors like historical experience, politics, socio-cultural influences, and market forces.

There is obviously a lot to learn from the experience of Boracay Island, a true Philippine jewel located 2 km off the northwest tip of Panay Island in Western Visayas, with its concerns in over-development and environmental issues.

With these things in mind, the municipal government of Sta. Cruz under Mayor Percival Morales has recognized the need for better control over development, such as the current approach now adopted for the development of Maniwaya Island as a tourist destination in South Luzon.

The creation of a multi-agency unit to be known as Task Force Maniwaya was agreed upon by representatives from the Department of Tourism (DOT), Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Mimaropa regional offices, Philippine National Police (PNP), the Sangguniang Barangay of Maniwaya, the Municipal Government of Sta. Cruz, the Office of Cong. Allan Velasco of the Lone District of Marinduque and the private sector.

A team from various national, regional and local agencies recently visited this island in Sta. Cruz known for its white powder sand that extends far out into the blue waters for the establishment of Task Force Maniwaya.

The group is composed of tourism operations officer Domenic Contreras (DOT), senior corporate plan analyst Mr. Gerry (TIEZA), regional executive director Concordio Zuniga (DENR MIMAROPA), regional director Sixto Tolentino (EMB MIMAROPA), regional director Roland de Jesus (MGB MIMAROPA), provincial director P/Sr.Supt. Carlos B. de Sagun (PNP), Brgy. Capt. Franco Principe (Brgy. Maniwaya), mayor Percival Morales (Sta. Cruz), congressman Allan Velasco (Lone District of Marinduque) and Dr. Romulo Bacorro representing the business community.