CLAVERIA, a town in Cagayan province with coastal waters without any garbage or industrial effluents flowing to the sea, was the regional winner in the Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan (MMK) Search for Outstanding Coastal Community 2017 in Cagayan Valley.
Max Prudencio Jr. of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-Cagayan Valley said that if people want to see clear blue waters, long walks along impeccable beaches, lush forests, bountiful and varied seafood–scenes that always evoke images of top notch tourist spots – these could also be Claveria.
The town of Claveria is widely acknowledged as the Coastal Paradise of the North, situated in the northwestern tip of Luzon, the municipality before Cagayan’s Santa Praxedes town if going to Ilocos Norte via Patapat.
This town with a total land area of 19,480 hectares has a 13.16-kilometer stretch of coastline. It has 41 barangays (villages), 14 of which are coastal villages.
Although Claveria is still a third class municipality, the town serves as a commercial center where adjacent coastal and inland municipalities conduct trading activities.
Prudencio said residents from the island town of Calayan also dock in the municipality bringing along with them fishery and farm products.
“Locally, the municipality is considered as a major tourism area with its pristine beaches and rivers, the natural landmark called ‘Lakay-lakay,’ bird watching area and lush forests,” he said adding that a newly built coastal road now links the fish port to the tourism inns, hostels and town center.
He said the municipal government has a strong waste management mechanism in place to support its thriving tourism industry embodied in the town’s 10-year ecological solid waste management (ESWM) plan for 2016-2025.
“Even before its waste management mechanism was implemented, the town was already adjudged as one of the cleanest and greenest municipality in the country,” Prudencio added.
In addition to its ESWM plan, the municipal government has also imposed anti-littering law and “no segregation, no collection policy,” and has established materials recovery facilities (MRFs) in each barangay alongside central waste processing facilities.
A recently conducted survey in all of Claveria’s households showed 98 percent have sanitary toilets and those without were provided for by the local government unit (LGUs).
Prudencio said that the LGU’s innovative waste-management project also became an alternative livelihood project that was awarded to the town’s fisher folk and farmers.
The municipal government gave each recipient modest capital for their “buy and sell” activity of recyclable materials that are sold to junk shops in the town.
The coastal town of Claveria has strips or small parcel of lands considered mangrove areas.
To protect and rehabilitate the mangrove areas, the municipal government has started planting under the Integrated Coastal Resources Management Project with about 125,000 mangrove propagules.
In 2016, Prudencio said the municipality has collaborated with the BFAR and the Department of Science and Technology to implement the Phil-LiDAR, a coastal resource assessment and mapping project.
He said that with Phil-LiDAR, information derived has helped the municipality in its various coastal resources management, fishery and environment activities.
The LGU in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources also conducts regular tree planting activities in the upland areas with 144,000 seedlings already planted during the period 2015-2016.
These are coffee, tamarind, narra, bignay, mahogany, agoo and others were planted which now generate livelihood for the residents.