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DENR, CEZA team up to protect Cagayan’s tourist spot

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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority have pledged to protect Nangaramoan Beach which is famous for its white sand.

The two agencies signed a memorandum of agreement as a first step to the crafting of a protection plan for beach.

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu and CEZA Administrator and Chief Executive Officer Raul Lambino signed the MOA last Feb. 18 at the DENR Central Office in Quezon City.

Nangaramoan Beach is famous for its pristine waters and white powdery sand comparable to the world-renowned Boracay Island. It is located in the town of Santa Ana, which is within the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport that is managed and supervised by CEZA.

In October 2017, CEZA—in coordination with the DENR and the local government of Santa Ana—shut down the 500-meter-long white sand beach for failure of operators to comply with environmental regulations and sanitation standards.

Under the MOA, the DENR will help CEZA in crafting the Nangaramoan Comprehensive Area Development and Management Plan.

“This will ensure the protection of the environment in the area and the sustainable development of Nangaramoan Beach. This is the biggest substance of this MOA,” Cimatu said.

Lambino, for his part, said that CEZA will rely on the technical inputs of the DENR in the development of the plan which, according to him, would serve as “the blueprint to ensure the preservation of the natural resources, biodiversity and cultural heritage of Nangaramoan Beach.”

He also said that the DENR-CEZA partnership would benefit “not just the tourists, but more importantly the stakeholders.”

“CEZA recognizes that this MOA will be the instrument to develop the area with the permission of the DENR, and we are thankful for their support,” Lambino added.

Meanwhile, Cimatu advised the CEZA to require resort operators to build their own sewage treatment plants and to strictly implement the 20-meter shoreline easement rule.

Cimatu said that it must be clear to the operators that structures encroaching into the easement are considered illegal and must be demolished.

The DENR chief also warned against cutting down trees found within forestlands as these are protected by the country’s forestry law.

In 2013, CNN Travel named the beaches of Santa Ana and in nearby Palaui Island as among the best in the world. These beaches became the shooting locations of two seasons of the US reality TV series “Survivor” in 2014.


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