Construction of P28M hostel in Turtle Islands to push through PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 06 June 2014 11:32

To boost ecotourism and accommodate tourists for the Turtle Island Wildlife Sanctuary (TIWS) in Tawi-Tawi, the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) approved on Tueday a resolution for the construction of a P28 million hotel to be built in Taganak Island.

TIWS PAMB Chairman Arleigh J. Adorable approved the resolution after the presentation of the perspective and lay-out plans by a representative of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) during the 1st PAMB Regular Meeting held at Chandlers Suites, Pagadian City.

The hostel, as funded by TIEZA,  shall consist of one hotel main building, restaurant, power house and eight cottages and is designed to be modest and functional so as to accommodate guests and  provide the basic comforts that they need during their visit.

Adorable said that once other basic requirements are fully accomplished, there is no impediment for the project to push through within this year.

Aside from the hostel, other proposed infrastructure include a law enforcement center and a small port for the utilization of tourist boats, Adorable added.

This latest development was lauded by other members of the PAMB composed of local government units, non-government organizations, academe, religious sector and government agencies as this will boost not only the ecotourism potential of the area but also help in the conservation efforts of marine turtles.

Turtle Islands is part of the Sulu Archipelago which is composed of approximately 400 islands of varying shapes and sizes. It is located at the southwestern tip of the Philippines, about 1,000 km southwest of Manila. The municipality of Turtle Islands is right at the edge of the international treaty limits separating the Philippines and Malaysia. The group of islands, namely, Boan, Lihiman, Langaan, Great Bakkungan, Taganak, and Baguan, is situated south of Palawan, northwest of the Tawi-Tawi mainland and northeast of Sabah, Malaysia. The islands have an aggregate land area of 308 hectares. The smallest island, the Langaan measures about 7 hectares, while the largest, the Taganak Island, is about 116 hectares.

It was proclaimed as Wildlife Sanctuary under Proclamation No. 171 on August 26, 1999 and identified as Extremely High (EH) for biodiversity conservation. It is  regarded as the only major nesting ground (with more than 1,000 nesters annually of the Green Sea Turtle (Cheloniamydas) in the whole ASEAN Region. — R.Tan, DENR-RPAO-9