LIVELIHOOD COMPONENT OF ECOTOURISM PROJECTS IN
PALAUI ISLAND OF SANTA ANA CAGAYAN
A Case Study
Submitted to the Faculty of the
College of International Tourism and Hospitality Management
Lyceum of the Philippines University Cavite
In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements of the Degree
Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management
EREKA MAE I. OBOR
July 27, 2015
Palaui Island is a 7,415-hectare island that has been declared as a Marine Reserve under the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992 and categorized as a Protected Landscape and Seascape. It is part of the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport managed by the Cagayan Economic Zone ...view middle of the document...
Palaui became the living laboratory of tourism planners Louie and Chen Mencias who have developed innovative planning tools and framework that are now being replicated in many ecotourism destinations in the country.
Being a protected area, it is being managed by a multi-sectoral body called Protected Area Management Board or PAMB. It has set of strict protocols and rules to protect the island from irresponsible tourism.
The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) based in Santa Ana town where the island is located, is intended to return Palaui, known for its Spanish-era lighthouse, to its pristine splendor and continuously maintain its unspoiled land and seascape.
Part of this effort is the rehabilitation of the coral reefs surrounding the island through “reeforestation.” The “reeforestation” program includes restoring the island’s mangrove forests, transporting live corals from elsewhere to naturally attach to existing corals, and seeding giant clams among the corals, with all fishery resources to be sourced from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
The rehabilitation effort is a result of the awareness of the extent of environmental degradation of the island and its surrounding waters brought about by over-exploitation of resources by locals and tourists.
Also taken into consideration are the native settlers, the Agtas or Agays, on the island, which lies along the northern tip of Santa Ana town. The involvement of local villagers in the effort to rebuild reefs and improve fishery on the island will enhance tourism and boost the local’s fishing livelihood.
Selected local residents have been trained as tour guides to explain the significance of various locations and natural formations on the island, with the tour leading to the fabled lighthouse. Other locals are trained as reef rangers or snorkeling guides, paddling guides, trek guides or birding guides, among others. The training program aims to capacitate the community and to provide life-enhancing experiences to the visitors of their communities. It also includes secondary enterprises, such as catering, arts and craft, community spa and nature village, among others, to supplement the tourism needs.
Blessida Diwa, regional director of the Department of Tourism (DOT), said the DOT will help promote the island as one of Northern Luzon’s tourism destinations, highlighting its snorkeling and scuba diving potentials.
The discovery of Palaui Island’s potential is worth giving an effort for it becomes one of Cagayan Valley’s prime eco-tourism gems. The support given by Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) as well as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau’s (DENR-PAWB) and Department of Tourism (DOT) help a lot for sustaining and improving the island yet giving contribution to the economy.