A perspective photo of the new ranger station which is currently in Phase II of construction at Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park and World Heritage Site in Cagayancillo.

The construction of the new ranger station in Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is now in Phase II, but it still requires a funding of P122 million to complete.

However, according to Angelique Songco, the park superintendent of the renowned marine park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Department of Tourism and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources are ready to assist in filling the funding gap.

She said that Phase II of the project is related to the central structure of the station, where their rangers will reside.

Songco said this after expressing gratitude to the provincial government whose engineering office is overseeing the ranger station’s construction.

Provincial Information Officer Atty. Christian Jay Cojamco said on Friday that 60% of the Phase II construction of the Tubbataha ranger station in the town of Cagayancillo has been completed. He said this was what he was told by the Provincial Engineering Office (PEO).

Phase II commenced in April 2023 and is expected to be finished by April of the following year. The project is funded with P58 million, which comes from the compensation paid by the United States to the Philippines for damages caused by the USS Guardian when it ran aground in Tubbataha in 2013.

It is worth noting that in 2020, Phase I of the ranger station was initiated with funding from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), with a contract cost of P40 million, and it was completed in 2021.

Both Phase I and Phase II construction include the main module, research module, and transportation module, with a specific plan to build a helipad.

This is one of the infrastructure projects that were initiated during the previous administration of former Governor and now 2nd District Palawan Representative Jose Alvarez and are currently being continued by Governor Dennis Socrates.

According to Tubbataha management, the design of the state-of-the-art ranger station was created by Dylan James Melgazo, a consultant for WWF-Philippines.

The plan envisions three interconnected structures: a command center for housing the rangers, a research building, and a helipad.

The central building, shaped like a hexagon, will feature a glass dome providing the rangers with a 360-degree view of the park, along with overhanging troughs designed to collect rainwater. Within this structure, there will also be a visitor center, a mini-museum, and stepladder planters for cultivating vegetables.

The marine park management added that to power the station, which is situated 150 kilometers away from Palawan’s capital city of Puerto Princesa, the nearest urban center, solar panels and micro wind turbines will be utilized to generate renewable energy.

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