Palawan solons urge to craft bill naming Pag-asa Island as eco-tourism spot

The island of Pag-Asa, seen from a naval Islander plane en route between Pag-asa, known internationally as Thitu, and Puerto Princesa, Palawan, over the South China Sea on August 15, 2013. (Photo by Ashley Gilbertson / VII Photo)

The Provincial Board approved Tuesday, November 10 a resolution seeking to declare Pag-asa Island cluster in Kalayaan Island Group (Spratlys) as an eco-tourism destination.

Through a resolution authored by First District Board Member Roseller Pineda, the Provincial Board urges the Congress through House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. and three Palawan lawmakers Franz “Chicoy” Alvarez, Frederick Abueg and Douglas Hagedorn to sponsor a bill declaring as such.

It can be noted that Senator Sonny Angara has already passed Senate Bill 2938 or “An Act Declaring Pag-Asa Island Cluster in the Municipality of Kalayaan, Province of Palawan as an Eco-Tourism Destination and Protected Area.”

But before Angara’s bill breezed through Senate, it needs a counterpart bill from the House of Representatives which should be jointly supported and passed by three Palawan congressmen.

Pineda believes with the declaration it will provide livelihood and boost local economy in the town located 480 kilometers off southwestern Palawan. Created by virtue of Presidential Decree 1596, the town is consists of nine features, namely Pag-asa, Parola, Kota, Likas, Lawak, Patag, Panata , the Ayungin Shoal and Rizal Reef.

Pag-asa Island is the second largest island in the Spratlys in the West Philippine Sea, and is the only island that is occupied by the Philippines.

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