Oriental Mindoro - Active bantay dagats (volunteer sea rangers) were provided sacks of rice recently in different sites of the province for being active in the management and enforcement of marine protected areas (MPAs). The provision is among conservation incentives to sea rangers in the various partner conservation communities of Malampaya Foundation Inc. (MFI).
Active bantay dagats play a crucial role in boosting protection and enforcement of MPAs, given gaps in government-led enforcement. Agencies such as the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, etc., have long recognized and tapped community-based enforcement by deputation of volunteers.
In 2017, Oriental Mindoro garnered two Champion awards at the Para El Mar awards, a nationwide recognition to best practices in the management of MPAs: BEST-MANAGED MPA for the Agsalin Fish Sanctuary and BEST MPA NETWORK for the Oriental Mindoro MPA and Bantay Dagat Network.