DOT Lists 78 Ecotourism Sites Not Open To Mining Operations

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has released its list of 78 ecotourism sites will be closed to mining as part of governments plan to boost their tourism potential for revenue and jobs generation.

Lumped into 20 clusters, the Tourism Development Areas (TDA) are mostly long recognized as protected areas (PA) being natural parks (NP), marine reserve (MR), protected landscape (PL), wildlife sanctuary (WS), protected seascape (PS), protected landscape-seascape (PLS), watershed reservation (WR), or watershed forest reservation (WFR).

Aside from DOT, other government agencies like the Parks and Wildlife Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and local government units have plans to develop these as top tourism areas.

For the TDA, included in the first cluster in the Ilocos Region are Batanes Is (island), Palaui Is MR, Kalbaryo Patapat, Tanap WFR, Paoay lake NP, Ilocos Norte Metro WFR.

Another group in the north to be barred from mineral extraction is the Vigan cluster consisting of Northern Luzon Heroes Hill, Bessang Pass Natural Monument, Lidlidda WFR, Sta. Lucia WFR, Libunao Spring PL, and Bigbiga Spring WFR.

The Sierra Madre cluster is composed of Bawa WFR, Wangag WFR, Magapit PL, Penablanca, Northern Sierra Madre NP, Fuyot Spring, Monte Alto Timber Resource Corp. forest area, Tumauini WFR, Quirino PL.

In Cordillera, the TDAs are Quirino PL, Cassamata Hill NP, Balbasang Balbalan NP, Mt. Pulog NP, Mt Data NP, Lower Agno WFR, Marcos Hiway WFR, Upper Agno River Basin Resource Reserve, Bangan Hill NP, Dupax WFR, Casecnan PL, and Salinas Natural Monument.

The Lingayen Gulf cluster sites also in Northern Luzon are the Agoo Damortis PL, Naguilian WR, Manleluag PL, and Hundred Islands NP.

The Central Luzon cluster include sSubic Clark Tarlac Corridor, Minalungao NP, Talavera WR, Pantabangan-Caranglan WR, Mt Arayat NP, Biak na Bato NP, Dona Remedios WR, Angat WFR, Masinloc Oyon Bay MR, Lake Malimanga Sanctuary, Olongapo Naval Base Perimeter, Bataan NP, Roosevelt NP, Aurora Memorial Park, Calabgan WFR, Dipaculao WFR, Dibalo-Pingit-Zaball-Malayat WFR, Aurora WFR, Dinadlawan River PL, Amno River PL, Talaytay PL, Simbahan-Talagas PL.

A prominent TDA in Region 4 area is the Taal Volcano PL

The Bicol sites are Mt Isarog NP, Caramoan NP, Bicol np, Libmanan Caves, Catanduanes WFR, Basot Island (Is), Dahican WFR, Mayon Volcano NP, Bulusan Volcano NP, Bongssalay NP, Chico Is wildlife sanctuar (WS), Nari Is. WS, Malabunga PL, Lagonoy Natural Biotic Area, Abasig-Matogdon Mananap, Guinauyan Is, Naro Is, Chico Is, Pobre Is, Dampalit Is, Pigbucan to Paron Pt, Putiao River to Matbog River, Burias Is, and Basin Is.

The Marinduque-Romblon TDAs are Torrijos WFR, Sta Cruz Is, Marinduque WR, Mt Guiting Guiting NP, Calatrava WFR, Sibuyan Is forest reservation, Puerto Galera, Mt Iglit, Baco NP, FB Harrison PA, Naujan Lake NP, Apo Reef, mangrove areas in Southwest Mindoro Coast, Mt calavite WS.

The Palawan TDAs are El Nido Managed Resource PA, Malampaya Sound Is WS, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River NP, Palawan Flora , Rauna WFR parcels one and two, Tubbataha Reef NP, Rasa Is WS, Mt Mantalingahan PL, Calauit Is Game Preserve and WS.

The Western Visayas sites are Bulabog Putian NP, Taklong Is PA, Jalaud River WFR, Maasin WFR, Mt Kanlaon NP, Northern Negros NP, Kabangkalan WFR, Ilog Hilabangan WFR, Sagay MR, Northwest Panay Peninsual NP, Sibalom NP, Aklan River WFR, Dalanas River WFR, and Panay River WFR.

The Central Visayas TDAs are Camotes Is, Bantayan Is, Olango WS, Central Cebu PL, Tanon Strait PS, Ponson Is, Poro Is, Pacihan Is, Guadalupe Mabugnao Mainit Hot Spring, Balinsasayao Twin Lakes NP, Apo Is PL, Rajah Sikatuna PL, Chocolate Hills NP, Panglao Is PS, Bugatusan Is, Conconstino Is, Catiil Is, Loboc WFR, Alijawan-Cansuhay WFR, Parnusuan Is, Lapinig Chico mangroves, Ambugan Is, Pangangan Is, Cabilao Is, Talibon group of islands, Albuquerque-Loay-Loboc PLS.

Another Visayas cluster sites are the Mac Arthur Landing NP, mangrove areas of Dupon bay, Sacay Pt up to mouth of Dupon River Apali, mangrove areas from Barrio Tuban and Barrio Manpagui, Palompon WFR, Mahagnao Volcano NP, Lake Danao NP, Cuatro Islas PL, Kuapnit Balinsasayao NP, Calbayog-Pan PL, Samar Is NP, and Guluan PLS.

The Surigao Dinagat TDAs are Siargao Is PLS, Dinagat Is, Hikdop Is, Sibate Is, Hanigad Is, Lamagon Is, Cepaya Is, Corbeto Is, Rasa Is, Awasan WFR, Cabilan WFR, Capaquian Is, and Surigao WFR;

The Agusan River Basin sites are Cabadbaran WS, mangrove areas along towns of Lavigan and Valencia, Agusan Marsh WS, Andanan River WFR.

The Cagayan de Oro Coast and hinterland sites are Timpoong Hibok-hibok NP, Initao-Libertad PLS, Mahugunao WFR, Mt Balatukan Range NP, Mimbilissan PL, mangrove areas from Liangan River to LIpan River, Sacred Mountain NP, Mt malindang NP, Baliangao PLS, Mt Kalatungan NP, Nt Kitanglad NP, Mt Kalatungan NP.

The Zamboanga Peninsula TDAs are the mangrove areas from Tagalisay to mouth of Tigbao River including east of Vitali Is, Siocon Resource Reserve, Murclelagos Bay PLS, Pasonanca NP, Great and Little Sta Cruz Islands PLS, Basilan natural biotic area, Mt Timolan NP, Buug natural biotic area, Dumanquilas PL, mangrove areas in Tumalong Bay, Jose Rizal Memorial PLS, Aliguay Is PL, and Salinog Is PLS.

The Davao Gulf and Coast sites are Malagos WR, Samal Is, Mt Hamiguitan WS, Pujada Bay PLS, Mainit Hot Spring, Mati PL, Baganga WR, Aliwagwag PL, and Mabini PLS.

The Cotabato-Saranggani sites are Mt Apo NP, Lake Buluan, Libungan WFR, Allah Valley WFR, Saranggani Bay PS, Mt Matutum PL.

The Muslim Mindanao sites are Turtle Is, Mt Dajo NP, Lake Butig NP, Lake Dapao NP, Pantuwaraya Lake, Rungkunan NP, Salikata NP, Lake Lanao WR, South Upi WFR, Mado Hotspring NP.

With regard to the government's long planned mining reform, a first memorandum order (MO) will likely be issued at the DENR level.

The MO is initially listing six important goals under the proposed first MO. Among these are promotion of mining along with sustainable development, equitable sharing of economic benefits among stakeholders, support for the welfare of indigenous people, and harmonization of national and local policies which will be crucial to settlement of conflicts in mining projects.