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ANTIQUE: NORTHWEST PANAY PENINSULA DECLARED AS NATURAL PARK

Pandan, Antique, April 25, 2002 – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today signed a proclamation declaring the Northwest Panay Peninsula as a natural park and as an additional component to the Natural Integrated and Protected Area System (NIPAS) in Region VI.

The area, which is approximately 12,009 hectares, is situated in the municipalities of Pandan and Libertad in the province of Antique, and the municipalities of Malay, Nabas and Buruanga in the province of Aklan.

It shall be under the administrative jurisdiction of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The signing of the proclamation by the President coincided with the fiesta celebration of the municipality of Pandan.

In her speech, the President said one of the goals of the proclamation is to develop the tourism potentials of the area, which can be offered as a twinning tourism package with that of the world-class beaches of Boracay in Aklan.

The President said that after swimming and diving in Boracay, many tourists may wish to go on trekking in the majestic beauty of the said towns that are now part of the NIPAS.

This, she added, could generate income for the people of the five towns.

At the start of her speech, the President noted that her father, the late President Diosdado Macapagal, was the first highest official of the land to visit the town of Pandan.

When she was still a senator, President Macapagal-Arroyo remembered that she even made an overnight stay in Pandan and slept in the house of then Councilor Plaridel Sanchez who is now the mayor of the town.

During the program, the President awarded to Mayor Sanchez the amount of P150,000 as cash award for the Bugan River in Pandan for having won the 1st runner-up title for the 2001 Cleanest River under the Department of Interior and Local Government’s "Gawad Pangulo sa Kapiligiran."

She also led in the turnover of certificates of land ownership awards (CLOAs) covering a total land area of 18.8 hectares to some 17 agrarian reform beneficiaries of this town.

Likewise, the Chief Executive granted P126,000 from the President’s Social Fund (PSF) to the Bolanao Elementary School Parents Association for the construction of a school stage.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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