By Elmer James Bandol
DARAGA, Albay (BicolToday.com/11-Oct-2012) – To stimulate development and maximize the benefits of the watershed in the area, Daraga Water District (DAWAD) is eyeing to endeavor more than 56 hectares eco-tourism park with massive tree planting at the slopes of Mayon Volcano declared as “no man’s land”
Contained in a resolution by the DAWD Board of Directors, headed by Atty. Isabelo D. Mediavillo, the request to Albay Gov. Joey S. Salceda to donate the site declared as “no man’s land’ in Barangay Budiao, this town, in favor of the water facility that will develop it into eco-tourism area.
The said resolution mentioned that as corporate responsibility, DAWD is mandated in promoting environmental protection and watershed development; hence, the area should not only supply 80 per cent of water source but as potential eco-tourism zone.
In the same vein, DAWD General Manager Engr. Antonio S. Balacano, wrote Salceda that despite the declaration of Budiao Zone as “no man’s land” rampant destruction of vegetation is unabated which might lead to “deterioration of its water-recharging capability” and putting at risk the supply of water for the premier town of Daraqa.
Armed with another board resolution authorizing to make study and to coordinate with government agencies, Balacano also requested the more than 5 hectares parcel of land owned by the provincial government be formally transferred to the water district through legal instrument so that titling of the same shall be formalized.
The said area to be developed with massive tree planting includes the abandoned school site of Budiao Elementary School owned by the Department of Education (Dep-Ed) which had been evacuated together with the residents at Barangay Anislag.
As of press time, the Office of the Education Undersecretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs sent fax message approving the transfer of Dep-Ed properties to DAWD.
Part of the eco-park to be developed are more than 377,000 sq. meters at the upper portion of Budiao abandoned by residents, while at the lower portion where the school site is located has more than 100,000 sq. meters and the portion of the land to be donated by the provincial government having a total of more than 565,000 sq. meters. [BicolToday.com]