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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Ipil’s pride among top 15 finalists in nationwide tilt

By Rhea Grace A. La Plana

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay – Evaluators from Marine Support Network (MSN) represented by Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Fishery Officer Ms. Lindley L. Herrera, together with Dr. Tony Llano from the University of San Carlos, Cebu City, conducted Site and Documents Evaluation in Buluan Island here recently.

MSN, convenor of the said nationwide search is geared towards promoting proper coastal management. Through its representatives, MSN will evaluate the best marine sanctuary that truly depicts how the wonders of nature are conserved.

Ipil town Mayor Eldwin M. Alibutdan continues to endorse Ipil PrideCampaign, a program of LGU-Ipil that has been launched to promote the protection and management of Buluan Island Marine Sanctuary.

Many years ago, Buluan Island connotes fear in the minds ofIpilenos, as the island was once an escape route of the Abbu Sayyaf rebel group. Located quite a distance from Ipil town with only few folks living thereat, progress in the island was quite slow.

Taking a glimpse of Buluan Island then and now, development has gone far better and fast.Ipil Pride Campaignhas done so much to turn the once feared island into a picturesque haven.

Buluan Island features white sand beaches and clear blue waters. It boasts of wonderful coral reefs and gifts of nature which are well-preserved.Now, it has turned into an exciting local tourist destination in the province. Many locals and travellers from different cities go to Buluan for a weekend getaway.

The island is accessible by boat in just 30 minutes at a relatively affordable fare. Regular boat trips are available daily. Frequent island hoppers are increasing in the past few months.

Alibutdan and all Ipilenos are proud that Buluan Island Marine Sanctuary is among the Top 15 Finalists in the Search for the Best Marine Protected Area for 2015 in the country. Awarding is set on October 24, 2015 in General Santos City.Ipilenos can only hope for the best.