Taytay, Palawan - An agreement to protect and strengthen management of the Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape (MSPLS) in western Taytay, Palawan was signed between the MSPLS Protected Area Management Board represented by Department of Environment and Natural Resources 4-B Regional Technical Director Gwendolyn Bambalan, Taytay LGU represented by Municipal Mayor Romy Salvame and Malampaya Foundation Inc. (MFI) represented by Executive Director Karen H. Agabin.

(From left) Taytay Municipal Agricultural Officer Gaspar Pacionela, DENR RTD Gwendolyn Bambalan, Taytay Municipal Mayor Romy Salvame, MFI Executive Dir. Karen Agabin, PCSD Operations Director Josephine Matulac, MFI Palawan Mgr Bonifacio Tobias, Taytay-El Nido CENRO Felizardo Cayatoc and Malampaya Sound Protected Area Superintendent Alex Mancio.

The agreement formalizes the ongoing cooperation and collaboration between the parties which commenced in late 2012 for a comprehensive coastal and marine biodiversity conservation program, including a component on socio-economic improvement as incentive for communities actively participating in the conservation and regeneration efforts.

Malampaya Sound, once touted the 'fishbowl of the Philippines' due to its rich fishing grounds and significant ecological features, was declared a NIPAS protected area in 2000, but has suffered steady degradation due to resource over-extraction, illegal methods of fishing, poor waste mgmt and lack of effective enforcement.