As part of its sustainable development initiative, Metro Pacific launched a mangrove propagation project on the site of its P30-billion Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX).
Mangroves are the only natural forests found in Cordova and the center was the first of its kind in the Visayas and the third in the country.
Aside from conserving and protecting coastal and marine biodiversity, the center intends to generate eco tourism- oriented livelihood in 9 barangays in the 100 hectares covered by mangrove forests.
Metro Pacific Investments Foundation (MPIF), the corporate social responsibility arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC), and the local government of Cordova last week opened the Mangrove Propagation and Information Center in Brgy. Day-as, Cordova, Cebu.
The two-storey facility serves as the center for the protection and propagation of mangrove trees in the coastal areas, including the rehabilitation of degraded mangroves in the whole Municipality of Cordova.
It also provides information about the importance and benefits of mangroves for locals and visitors.
The second floor doubles as a viewing deck for bird-watching.
“This is a legacy project of MPIF and CCLEC, similar to our existing centers in Alaminos, Pangasinan and Del Carmen, Siargao,” according to MPIF President Melody M. Del Rosario.
“It will create employment opportunities that positively impacts the economic condition of their municipality,” she added.
The CCLEC, a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, is the builder of the 8.5-kilometer CCLEX linking Cordova in Mactan Island to mainland Cebu.
CCLEC will maintain and operate the toll bridge under a joint venture agreement with the Local Government Units of Cordova and Cebu City.
“We entrust this Mangrove Propagation and Information Center to the people of Cordova to advance their environmental and economic agenda,” remarked MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.
Mangrove areas cover 9 barangays in Cordova: Catarman, Buagsong, Day-as, Bangbang, San Miguel, Pilipog, Ibabao, Gabi, and Alegria.
However, the mangrove areas are affected by the conversion of some sites into fishponds, others are also being intruded by informal settlers.
Furthermore, claims of ownership in the mangroves and forestland areas also pose serious challenges to the authorities.