MANILA - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has signed a memorandum of agreement with the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) to ensure the protection and sustainability of the Nangaramoan Beach in Cagayan province.
Located in the town of Santa Ana, Nangaramoan Beach is famous for its pristine waters and white powdery sand comparable to the world-renowned Boracay Island in Aklan province.
“This will ensure the protection of the environment in the area and the sustainable development of Nangaramoan Beach. This is the biggest substance of this MOA,” Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said in a statement.
Under the MOA, the state environmental agency will help CEZA in crafting the Nangaramoan Comprehensive Area Development and Management Plan. The beach is located within the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, which is managed and supervised by CEZA.
“CEZA recognizes that this MOA will be the instrument to develop the area with the permission of the DENR, and we are thankful for their support,” CEZA administrator and chief executive officer Raul Lambino said.
The 500-meter-long white sand beach was closed in Oct. 2017 after resort operators failed to comply with environmental regulations and sanitation standards.
As authorities seek to protect the beach, Cimatu wants resort operators to build their own sewage treatment plants and follow the 20-meter shoreline easement rule.
The DENR chief also warned against cutting down trees found within forestland as these are protected by the country’s forestry law.
In 2013, CNN Travel named the beaches of Santa Ana and in nearby Palaui Island as among the best in the world. These beaches became shooting locations for 2 seasons of the US reality TV series “Survivor” in 2014.
Similar massive cleanups were also implemented in Boracay Island and Palawan in 2018 and 2019. Both are considered top tourist destinations in the Philippines.