Mayor eyes Malapascua

Posted on November 15, 2012

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White sand beaches and blue waters of Malapascua Island in Daanbantayan town is some times called the ‘Little Boracay’. (SINGLE ADVENTURES TOURS)

Daanbantayan Mayor Maria Luisa Loot said she is hopeful about regaining management of Malapascua Island now that she’s reconciled with Gov. Gwen Garcia.

The governor is set to visit the island, a popular dive site with white sand beaches off the northern tip of Cebu, to inspect province-funded projects there.

Garcia and Mayor Loot patched up differences during the town’s Haladaya Festival last September, ending a falling out that lasted more than two years.

The governor will inspect the Maya Roll-on and Roll-off Port, which is the main link of mainland Cebu to the island.

Mayor Loot said the 2006 Memorandum of Agreement that transferred control of the island to the prvoincial government as the lead agency in managing its natural resources would be amended soon so that authority is reverted to the Daanbantayan municipal government.

That would allow Daanbantayan to resume its lead role in implementing the Malapascua Island Eco-Tourism Development Plan.

Several projects were in limbo during the two-year rift between the mayor and governor.

Governor Garcia said she will try to finish all the projects of the Capitol started in the town before her term ends in June 2013.

Malapascua Island is a known dive spot for thresher sharks, manta rays and coral reefs.

The quiet island has a growing number of dive shops and small resorts whose white sand beaches gave it the monicker “Little Boracay” but without Boracay’s busy nightlife.

The Department of Tourism considers Malapascua one of the priority areas for development in Region 7 under the Northern Cebu-Bantayan-Malapascua area. /Correspondent Caryl Baylon

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