Best Mangrove award 1st runner up

Despite the challenges we are facing today, both the Pandemic and Political turmoil, I am grateful for small blessings.

Today, Palompon was awarded 1st runner up for the Best Mangrove Award by Para Del Mar 2021. We did not expect to even place as the contenders had vast mangroves being protected and long standing programs. But this blessing is truly a gift for the people of Palompon, most especially those in the coastal Barangays. It is good to note that Palompon being named from Mangroves.

We thank the following for this collaborations. We thank PIT under the leadership of Dr Norberto Olavides, and the research Office specifically Mr. Jason Tuang-Tuang, the many NGO’s such as HIKERS and PACCI to name a few, and People’s Organisations, specifically those in the coastal Barangays such as BAKHAW and PAWA and many more others. National and private agencies such as DENR, BFAR, UP MSI, ZSL (for crafting the wonderful module for the Mangrove Protection for Leyte-Samar), Ocean Beacon, Save Nature Society, Province of Leyte under Governor Mic Petilla and of course the support of Congresswoman Lucy Torres-Gomez.

I also acknowledge the very big efforts of MEETO OIC Melvin Guerrero who did the initial groundwork with PIT. Herville Pajaron and Former Mayor Yoly Tupa who were authors of the Ordinance Declaring Tabuk as Protective marine Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in 1995 and other related ordinances, HESG/ Bantay Dagat Personnel past and present, for the effective enforcement.

Of course the result of protection can only be possible with the past and present leaders, Former Mayors Ramon Oñate, Baloy Oñate, Yoly Tupa, Former Vice Mayors and SB Members of Palompon. Past administrators and staff of MENRO. It is also good to recognise, that despite changes in administrations in Palompon, there is a common intention and motivation to continually protect Tres Marias Mangroves, and we as leaders past and present, know the value and benefits of protecting the Mangroves and the environment.

Lastly, it is important to get the message out:

1. Protection of Mangroves should be continuous

2. Education of the next generation of the significance of this protection

3. Encourage our neighbours to do the same, as we share the same waters.

To the People of Palompon, this win is yours, it is for the people, by the people and because of the people.

These may be small footsteps taken by the humble Municipality of Palompon, but if there are more footsteps taken, then a collective action becomes truly significant.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Congratulations to All!

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