In a proud moment for conservation efforts in the region, Mantampok Fish Sanctuary and Marine Reserve in Quinapondan, Eastern Samar, secured the coveted first prize in the Best Managed and Outstanding Sanctuaries competition held during the Gawad sa Kalikasan Awards at the Guiuan Development Foundation, Inc. (GDFI) 35th Founding Anniversary Celebration. The event took place on August 30, 2023, at the Municipal Gymnasium in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
The recognition came as a testament to Mantampok’s exceptional commitment to environmental preservation and sustainable marine resource management. The Plaque of Award, which was represented by Engr. Felix John E. Bianes, the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (MENRO) of the Municipality of Quinapondan, was given to Mantampok Fish Sanctuary and Marine Reserve amid a gathering of environmentalists, local leaders, and residents who applauded the sanctuary’s outstanding achievements. Mantampok’s success was attributed to its comprehensive conservation strategies, community involvement, and effective management practices. The sanctuary has become a role model for other coastal communities, inspiring them to adopt similar approaches in safeguarding their marine ecosystems.
The prestigious award was signed by two distinguished figures, Prof. Jerome Benedict P. Cabansag and Margarita Dela Torre – Dela Cruz, underscoring the credibility and authenticity of the recognition. Prof. Cabansag is the Chairman of the Panel of Judges and Ms. Dela Torre, an Executive Director of Guiuan Development Foundation, Inc. (GDFI), graced the ceremony and commended Mantampok for its noteworthy efforts in preserving marine biodiversity and promoting eco-friendly practices.
Local officials, including Mayor Rafael S. Asebias of Quinapondan, expressed their pride in Mantampok’s achievement and emphasized the significance of the award for the entire municipality. They highlighted the collaborative efforts of the community, government, and non-governmental organizations that have contributed to the success of Mantampok Fish Sanctuary and Marine Reserve.