On February 8, 2023, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources–Provincial ENR Office (DENR-PENRO) Guimaras celebrated the 33rd Anniversary of Taklong Island National Marine Reserve (TINMR), underpinning its declaration as a Protected Area (PA) back in 1990, by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 525.

The event intended to commemorate TINMR’s humble beginnings and strengthen the commitment of various stakeholders. It was graced and participated by DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran, the Executive Assistant for the Office of the Governor Gerardo Gaitan, Nueva Valencia Municipal Mayor Paul Vincent Dela Cruz, Vice Mayor Ma. Luz Gambalan, Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) Members, employees of the Local Government Unit of Nueva Valencia, People’s Organizations, staff from DENR Region VI and the local community.

PENRO Guimaras headed by PENR Officer Edgardo Rostata led the various activities during TINMR’s 33rd Anniversary, which include holy mass, community building activities, awarding of Plaques of Recognition to PAMB members, search for Mutya and Mr. Siokoy ng TINMR 2023 and, Komposo competition.

Another highlight of the anniversary celebration is the awarding of livelihood support to Barangay La Paz received by Punong Barangay Veronica Ortiz, and Barangay San Roque received by Punong Barangay Nora Gamuyao, both located in the municipality of Nueva Valencia, Guimaras.

In his message during the event, DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran encouraged the PAMB members and local officials to think ahead should TINMR’s tourism potentials get boosted. Facilities and amenities, including the access to safe water in the island should be of prime consideration, RED Duran said.

Coined as the “Jewel of Guimaras”, the establishment of TINMR as a protected area has been a tool for the protection and conservation of coastal and terrestrial ecosystems, while also providing livelihood opportunities for locals who are economically-reliant on these resources./DENR 6