The Siete Pecados Marine Park, a marine reservation for the conservation of species off the coast of Coron town, was recognized recently by the provincial government with a plaque of recognition and a P50,000 cash prize for being the best managed marine protected (MPA) area in Palawan.

The Palawan Provincial Information Office (PIO) said Thursday that aside from the marine park, three other MPAs in Coron were awarded and given P30,000 each — San Jose MPA as “Best Emerging MPA”, Balisungan MPA as “Best Community Managed MPA”, and Bulalacao MPA as “Best Locally Managed MPA.”

They received their recognition on September 15 at a hotel in Puerto Princesa City during the 2nd Palawan Marine Protected Area (MPA) Summit 2022. The initiative was under the Palawan MPAs Empowered Through Awards and Recognition to Enrich Marine Life, or PEARL, by the provincial government through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA).

The Tumarbong Marine Protected Area in Roxas Town and the Calamianes Group of Islands MPA Network both received special awards from the OPA. Each received a certificate and P15,000 in cash.

Dr. Romeo Cabungcal, head of the OPA, explained that the award aims to recognize joint efforts to take care of the MPAs and continuously inspire protected area managers, barangat officials, and other organizations involved.

“Ang PEARL Award ay ginagawa natin o ini-institutionalize natin ‘yan sa pamamagitan ng Office of the Provincial Agriculturist. Ito sana ang recognition na ito ay makapagpataas ng moral at makapagpalakas sa ating mga MPA para mas lalo nilang epektibong pangasiwaan ‘yong ating mga marine protected areas,” said Cabungcal.

The Technical Working Group (TWG) that selected the MPAs were composed of Provincial Administrator Atty. Jethro M. Palayon as chairperson; Gender and Development Officer Richard Winston J. Socrates as vice chairperson; and members Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Romeo M. Cabungcal; OIC-Provincial Planning and Development Officer Sharlene D. Vilches; Provincial Tourism Officer Maribel C. Buni; Provincial Cooperative and Development Officer Gina S. Soctares, and Socorro S. Tan, Chairperson of the Palawan Cooperative Union.

Among the 17 nominated MPAs were: Dalarat MPA, Lamane MPA, Port Barton MPA, Conception-Sagrada-Bogtong MPA, Black Rock Reef MPA, Seven Line MPA, Canipo MPA, Imalaguan Fish Sanctuary, Manamoc MPA, Mangrove Park and Fish Bowl Area, at Campo Batang MPA.

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