TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Jan 24 (PIA) -- The Department of Science and Technology is coming to the rescue of one of Eastern Visayas popular dive sites, that of Padre Burgos in the province of Southern Leyte.
Engr. Edgardo Esperancilla, DOST8 regional director disclosed that the DOST central office has allotted P5 million for the coral reef restoration project at Padre Burgos, Southern Leyte.
The project, which involves the rehabilitation of a one-hectare area of coral reef is part of DOST’s interventions that aims to preserve marine and boost ecotourism in the region, Director Esperancilla said.
He added that the project will be implemented by DOST Philippine Council for Marine and Aquatic Resources Research and Development (PCMARRD) together with Southern Leyte State University (SLSU) and dive resort owners in the province.
The DOST regional office will provide technical assistance, trainings, and management during the project duration, Esperancilla said.
Esperancilla disclosed that legwork has already started but the launching schedule is yet to be determined. Trainors’ training and stakeholders’ consultation meeting have been conducted by DOST PCAMRRD.
Coral reefs in Southern Leyte are damaged by a variety of human activities such as household sewage, industrial wastage, and agricultural chemicals from land that are washed to the sea. Dangerous fishing methods such as blast and dynamite fishing also contribute a lot to coral reef destruction, Esperancilla lamented.
Southern Leyte was described by Coral Cay Conservation, an international marine conservation organization, as home to some of the most spectacular coral reefs in the world, often forming walls of color or small patches on sandy slopes waiting to be explored.
Meanwhile, the provincial government of Southern Leyte has also identified its coral reefs particularly in Sogod Bay as one of the five tourism hubs in the province that could be developed by both the government and the private sectors. (PIA 8)