Celso worried on reversion of Sta Cruz island to TIEZA Print
Friday, 04 August 2017 16:04

Management of the Sta. Cruz Island may revert back to the Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) due to the alleged failure of the city government to abide by certain provisions on the island’s Master Development Plan.

This was the concern voiced by First District Congressman Celso Lobregat amid the alleged failure of the Zamboanga local government to implement infrastructure projects included in the Management and Development Plan (MDP) for Las Islas de Sea Cruz.  The MDP was signed on August 11, 2011 during the administration of then Mayor Celso Lobregat.

“Debolbe conel TIEZA si hende implementa el cosa kita ta man propose na MDP.  Este el demio lingasa  cay abandonao el isla ahora y no hay cosa ta pasa coneste por largo tiempo,”  said Lobregat.

The First District Solon said that it was part of the stipulated conditions to provide manpower for the continued operation of the island, the management and maintenance of the island.

It is also reportedly part of the local government’s responsibility to allocate funds, implement projects, programs and activities to maximize the island’s potential as a viable tourism destination.

Lobregat said that during his administration, he has allocated funds for the construction of low impact infrastructure in line with the designation of the island as a protected area.

The allocation of funds was based on  City Council Resolution  489 dated August 9, 2010, granting authority to the city mayor to make funds available to manage Sta. Cruz.

The objective of the resolution was to develop, operate, manage, maintain, protect and preserve Sta. Cruz Island as a protected landscape and seascape.

“My administration asked for it from TIEZA and we did all efforts to take over the island as mandated by the constitution in 1991 with conditions,”  Lobregat said.

The management of the great and small Sta. Cruz island was devolved to the local government on March 19, 2012, pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement  (MOA) dated June 17, 2011 entered into by the DOT, TIEZA, Zamboanga city government, DENR, and PAEMB.

Certain conditions for compliance by the local government were included in the MOA.

Lobregat said that low impact infrastructure was proposed during his time as Mayor, the necessary budget was provided and the move to develop the potential of the island within the framework of a protected area was done.

Whatever happened next is beyond his knowledge, the Solon said.

“Ahora ta man bucal sila cay ya subí el entrada del isla.  It was not because cone cosa sila ya implementa.  Ya subi el entrada del isla por causa con el cosa ya sale na National Geographic cay one of the top 20 beaches in the world el Sta. Cruz island, and not because of their efforts,”  Lobregat said.  (Dexter Yap)