Lake Manguao in Palawan: A sanctuary for wildlife

Lynette dela Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 31 2017 11:53 AM | Updated as of Mar 31 2017 11:54 AM

TAYTAY – This municipality's government is working on its application to declare a lake in the area a Wetland of International Importance.

If the application is granted, its ecological function and economic, cultural, scientific and recreational value will be recognized.

Lake Manguao currently serves as a tourist spot for residents of Palawan. Locals can freely visit and wade in the water.

Getting there only takes 15 minutes of land travel from the Poblacion.

The lake is also a source of income for nearby residents. Aside from fish, Lake Manguao is also home to various wildlife such as the white bellied sea eagle and wild duck or Philippine duck.

It is a protected area and a sanctuary for 138 species of birds from where at least 14 are endemic, as well as 29 species of mammals and 12 species of fish where 3 are endemic.

The lake was declared a Municipal Conservation area and Ecotourism Zone, but is still prone to illegal activities such as cutting of trees. This is why forest rangers are deployed in the area.

Lake Manguao is expected to be opened for tourism, but the Municipality of Taytay assured that the rich biodiversity will not be sacrificed while aiming for sustainable development assuring that the community will also be benefiting.

"Pinaghahandaan na namin yung paggawa ng visitors' center and then ino-organize na rin naming iyong community para maging cooperative," said Taytay Municipal Tourism Officer Joie Matillano.

"What we are looking at tourism in Taytay is 'yung community-based sustainable tourism talaga. Nature-based siya at the same time community-based,” he said.