Forty-nine (49)-hectare St. John the Baptist marine sanctuary located at barangay Puting Cacao of Pola municipality in Oriental Mindoro landed 5th in the top 10 of the Outstanding Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) of the Philippines at the recent Para El Mar awards, which recognizes best-managed MPAs nationwide on a bi-annual basis.

Barangay Putting Cacao and Pola municipality have been conservation partners of Malampaya Foundation since 2014 when the first conservation agreement was signed and has since been renewed twice.  Other conservation partners are the provincial government of Oriental Mindoro, provincial offices of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, PNP-Maritime Police, Philippine Coast Guard and others.

MFI partner conservation sites have won in the past Para El Mar awards: Ranzo Fish Sanctuary (Pinamalayan municipality) placed 3rd in 2019 and Agsalin Fish Sanctuary (Gloria municipality) won 1st place in 2017, all located in the province of Oriental Mindoro.