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The Franciscan Youths (YOUFRA) of Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor: Feeling triumphant after giving their share to the community. Tree planting and clean up activities are one of the regular activities of these youth to help mitigate the adverse effects of climate change following their weekly formation at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor. (pia-siquijor/Rizalie Anding Calibo)
Central Visayas Region

PIA Press Release
Monday, January 30, 2012

Simple floating deck in Asturias town attracts local tourists

by Fayette C. Riñen

CEBU CITY, January 30 (PIA) -- A simple floating deck in a protected marine sanctuary off the seas of the Municipality of Asturias in southern Cebu originally designed as a surveillance area against illegal fishing is now attracting local tourists.

Asturias Mayor Alan Adlawan said the area where the floating deck is situated is a marine sanctuary that needs to be protected from dynamite or any kind of illegal fishing that will destroy it.

“We established the floating deck for the guards to patrol the seas at night to ensure no illegal fishing activities in the area,” Adlawan said.

The floating deck made of bamboo and hard wood, strongly supported by big plastic drums, and firmly anchored under has an estimated full capacity to seat 50 people.

Just launched last November 8, the floating deck has received positive response from the town residents and in neighboring Balamban town that opted to go to Asturias for a beach outing in the area.

“People are willing to pay P50 for a 20-minute banca ride to the floating deck to relax and enjoy the exhilarating sea breeze and to swim,” Adlawan said

“During early mornings, you can see a variety of fish, shrimps and squid surrounding the floating deck. It is a very breathtaking sight. This is also one of the reasons why the floating deck is getting popular to tourists,” Adlawan added.

Adlawan however, stressed that it is strictly prohibited to catch any marine life surrounding the floating deck.

Though the Municipal Government of Asturias constructed the floating deck, it is not collecting any share of the P50 amount which the P45 will go to the banca driver and P5 will go to the Sitio Looc Sur People’s Association (SILOPA). The banca drivers form part of the 30-member cooperative.

Adlawan bared they also provided life jackets for the SILOPA for the safety of the tourists wanting to go to the floating deck.

“This is also our way of helping the coastal folks in the area earn money no matter how little since fishing within the protected area is not allowed,” Adlawan disclosed.

Rolumo Torreon, SILOPA past president, expressed hopes that more and more tourists will come and visit their area to spur development in their little coastal barangay.

“Hinay-hinay gidungog na kining floating deck. HInaot pa unta mas modaghan pa ang moanhi dinhi sa maong lugar kay kun molambo pa, pwede na kami diri magtukod sab ug kan-anan,” (Little by little, the floating deck has gain recognition. Hopefully, when more and more tourists will come, we can put up a little carenderia (small eatery),” Torreon said. (PIA-Cebu)

 
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