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PIA Press Release

MOA on integrated coastal resources management in Masbate signed

By Mar Arguelles

Legazpi City (29 August) -- The participation of local government units (LGUs) in implementing the Integrated Coastal Resources Management Project (ICRMP) in Masbate province have been formalized with a memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed on Friday, August 21in Esperanza town.

Alfredo Araya Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol spokesman said towday that the signing ceremony was held during the meeting of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Masbate Chapter hosted by its president, Aroroy Mayor Enrico Z. Capinig.

Signatories of the MOA were Regional Executive Director Joselin Marcus E. Fragada of the Department of Environment and Natural Resource, Governor Eliza Olga T. Kho of Masbate, and the mayors of LGUs concerned.

At least 15 municipalities and one city are covered by the ICRM project such as Aroroy, Batuan, Cataingan, Cawayan, Claveria, Dimasalang, Esperanza, Masbate City, Mobo, Monreal, Palanas, Placer, San Jacinto, San Pascual and Uson.

Atty. Analiza R. Teh, DENR Assistant Secretary for Foreign Assisted and Special Projects (FASPs); Lucena Mercado, ICRMP National Coordinator; DENR and BFAR regional and provincial officials were among those who witnessed the MOA signing.

In her talk with the mayors, Assistant Secretary Teh stressed that one of the primary requirements for LGUs sub-project loan availment is the ICRMP plan, adding that the same sub-project loan is a combination of loan, grant and LGU counterparts in cash or in kind.

For his part, RED Marc Fragada expressed his sincere appreciation to the LMP-Masbate Chapter for hosting the LGU MOA signing. He assured LGUs of technical assistance from the DENR in implementing the project.

"But the LGUs should be on the driver seats in terms of coastal resource management," Fragada emphasized.

The ICRMP is described "as a co-partnership activity which aims to address the critical issues of sustainable management of marine and coastal resources, in an integrated manner."

The ICRMP was officially launched in November last year in Masbate, which is identified as one of the poorest provinces in the country.

Its over-all goal and objective are to enhance coastal resources and reduce poverty among municipal fisherfolk and to provide for sustainable management and increased income for coastal communities.

The ICRMP has four components namely: 1) Policy and Institutional Strengthening Development, (2) ICRM and Biodiversity Conservation, (3) Enterprise Development and Income Diversification, and (4) Social and Environmental Services and Facilities.

The DENR is responsible for overall management and implementation of the four components, including the establishment of the necessary and appropriate project coordination, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.

The Department of Agriculture through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is lead agency of component No. (3), while the LGUs and Communities, of component No. (4).

Also involved in the ICRMP implementation are the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Bureau of Local government Finance (BLGF) and the League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Masbate Chapter. (PIA) [top]

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