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P100-M ecological park soon to rise in Guimaras

September 10, 2006

By Helen Flores
The Philippine Star 09/11/2006

WHERE disaster has struck, new life and livelihood will rise.

A P100-million ecological park will soon open in Guimaras to bring more tourists and jobs to the people of the oil spill-affected island.

Engineer Ruben Corpuz, provincial economic development officer, said the Lombija Wildlife and Research Foundation located in Napandong in the hard-hit town of Nueva Valencia, will become a major attraction to both local and foreign tourists.

The 36-hectare park is a private investment which is expected to operate this year or early 2007, Corpuz said.

“The park will give opportunities to the people of Guimaras especially those who were affected by the massive oil spill,” Corpuz told The STAR at the opening of the 17th Philippine Travel Mart at the Mega Trade Hall in SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City Friday.

He said the park has a bird sanctuary and will feature the different feline families.

He also said the park will serve as a research hub for students and professionals.

Corpuz said the park was constructed years ago by a private developer, Henry Babiera, in Napondong, an inland barangay which is far from the oil spill-affected areas of Nueva Valencia.

Meanwhile, Corpuz said the local government of Guimaras is beginning to assess what resources are available for the fisherfolk to provide them alternative livelihoods.

“We are focusing in agri-based livelihood, like vegetable farming and livestock,” he said. “We are also considering skills enhancement for affected citizens.”

Corpuz said the people of Guimaras remain optimistic that the province’s economy will soon recover from the disaster.

“We are looking at the calamity as an opportunity, not a threat,” he said. “We’re taking it positively and we hope we will recover sooner.”

On Aug. 11, the M/T Solar I, carrying more than two million liters of bunker oil, sank in the Guimaras Strait and caused the worst oil spill in Philippine history — polluting fishing grounds, mangroves, corals and marine reserves.

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One comment

  1. My name is Bruce Sutton in Utah USA. I am in the process of setting up a Foundation to help the local Baranguays affected by the oil spills, especially on an economic basis.
    I am meeting with some very wealthy donors on Friday this week and I would really like to show them some good high resolution pictures of what happened to the beaches and mangroves. Could you possibly give me any high resolution pictures in digital format JPG, so I can make them into posters for a display this Friday.
    My home town in New Zealand had an oil spill many years ago and devastated the beaches for at least 5 years and destroyed the fishing grounds and mangrove breeding areas.

    I would really like to help

    thanking you

    Bruce Sutton



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