The Port Management Office of Misamis Oriental/Cagayan de Oro (PMO MO/C), in its continuing pursuit of protecting and conserving the marine environment within its jurisdiction, participated in the first quarter meeting of the Coastal Fishing and Marine Environment Protection Sub-Committee spearheaded by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources on 16 March 2021.

The said sub-committee of the Regional Law Enforcement Committee, primarily discussed the environmental impacts or the possible damage to marine habitat of the proliferation of floating cottages (“balsa”) in the coastal waters of Misamis Oriental  that have become a popular tourist attraction since the community quarantine has been eased in the province.

The sub-Committee also composed of DENR, MARINA-X, PCG, DILG, DOT, NEDA, BOC, DENR-EMB, and DOJ drafted a Resolution on the General Requirements in the Establishments of Balsa or Any Other Floating Structures. The said draft Resolution outlines the respective rules, regulations, and issuances of the concerned government agencies pertaining to floating structures, use of foreshore land, safety and security of coastal and beach resorts, sustainable tourism development, among others. Furthermore, the body crafted the specific requirements for the establishment of floating cottages in municipal waters as a supplementary to DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2018-59, “Policies and Guidelines on the Regulation and Monitoring of Fishery Activities in Municipal Waters”.

During the meeting, it was initially discussed that the PMO MO/C shall ensure that floating cottages operating in the municipal waters will not enter the Port Zone Delineation (PZD) or the waters within the jurisdiction of the PMO ports.

The draft Resolution and the guidelines are still under further review of the Committee members.