Coron, Palawan - A customary Tagbanua ritual led by the tribal council's Apong Dakulo and ceremonial installation of buoys marked the launch of a new marine protected area (MPA) in Barangay Bulalacao, municipality of Coron on November 26, 2014. The new MPA is backed by Coron municipality ordinance 42-B series of 2014 formally establishing the “Barangay Bulalacao Marine Protected Area".
The 3,297-hectare MPA is comprised of mangroves and fringing reefs and has two strict protections zones and two sustainable use zones. The establishment and launch is a culmination of nearly two years of social preparation, collaboration and cooperation between the barangay and Tagbanua leaders, community members, Coron municipal government, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development and Malampaya Foundation Inc. (MFI).
MFI’s support to the new MPA in Bulalacao, Coron is part of the foundation's Barangay Aquatic Habitat and Underwater Regeneration Assistance (BAHURA) program which provides technical and logistical inputs and support with the aim of helping coastal and marine ecosystems recover and regenerate.