Beng orders stepped up security in Sta. Cruz isle PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 19 July 2013 11:08

Mayor Beng Climaco has ordered authorities to strengthen security in Sta. Cruz Island not only to safeguard the residents and visitors but also to protect and preserve the natural beauty of the island.

The Philippine Navy will lead the overall security plan in the island with support from the Maritime Police, Tourist Police, Philippine Coast Guard, Task Force Zamboanga and the City Government.

Mayor Climaco last weekend personally led a team of City Government and law enforcement agencies in an ocular inspection of the island, which is now under the management and control of the local government. The visit was prompted by reports of destruction in some parts of the island due to illegal fishing activities.

The mayor expressed the urgent need to establish a watch tower or an observation tower on which a guard or guards will be stationed to keep watch of all activities within the coverage of the Sta. Cruz Island.

She said the ongoing development which started during the administration of former Mayor Celso Lobregat will continue and pursued. “There are still many structures that we have to put and propose to improve the island but the greater plan is that we have to establish a marine sanctuary to protect the endangered species”.

The island’s development plan is intended to transform the site into an “island-ecosystem which includes the landscape, seascape and marine resources that is responsibly and sustainably managed, developed and protected by the local government with the involvement of the community and other stakeholders for the maintenance and preservation of the natural biological, physical diversities of the environment and for ecotourism promotion.”

“The message is that we do this to protect our environment para con el maga jovenes ay tene un lugar que puede sila abla di ila gayot, usando con todo recursos naturales talli”, the mayor affirmed. “The improvements here started during the time of Mayor Lobregat and so we continue it and we need to evaluate and strengthen security system in the area.”

She emphasized that the rampant dynamite fishing in the area is perpetrated by non-residents of Sta. Cruz Island but from the neighboring areas. During her inspection of the island, the mayor directed the City Agriculturist Office to reach out to the communities and talk to the people so they will know the dangers they are causing not only on eco-tourism and environment but also on their lives. — Sheila Covarrubias