Bantayan Island seen to develop
Lorraine L. Ecarma (The Freeman) - November 17, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia is looking forward to the economic boost that is expected from the possible reclassification of Bantayan Island from a wilderness to a protected zone.

“It becomes attractive to investors kay na alienable and disposable na ang mga yuta. Ang yuta man gud, is a form of collateral. It is a form of security,” she said.

Last November 4, House Bill No. 4951 filed by Cebu 4th District Representative Janice Salimbangon has been approved in the Lower House in Congress. On the same day, the bill was transmitted to the Senate.

The House Bill serves to reclassify Bantayan Island so that it may not belong to the protected zone category.

This would now allow residents in the three municipalities of Sta. Fe, Madridejos and Bantayan to have their lands titled.

Garcia also added that it is high time for the reclassification as the residents have been long anticipating for it.

“Hopefully duna sa’y parallel bill dire sa Senate kay aron mapasar na gyud na ug mahimo nang balaod. Dugay na kayo na. We’ve been waiting for that for a long time. The people of Bantayan have been hoping that this would finally happen,” she said.

As for the dangers of environmental degradation amid the development, the governor said that it is a challenge for local government unit chiefs to preserve certain areas.

“I believe that certain areas have to be secured against development,” she said.

The entire Bantayan Island was classified a wilderness zone as per Proclamation 2151 under former President Ferdinand Marcos.  GAN (FREEMAN)

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