Mangrove info center to reopen in Cordova

 Map of Cordova, Cebu.
Map of Cordova, Cebu. (Google Maps)

A TWO-STORY Mangrove Propagation and Information Center is set to rise again in Cordova town in Mactan Island, Cebu to bring in locals and tourists and promote eco-tourism in the area.

On Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, the Metro Pacific Investments Foundation (MPIF) and the Municipality of Cordova signed a memorandum of agreement for the rehabilitation of the Mangrove Propagation and Information Center (MPIC), and the relaunch of the Mangrove Eco-Guides Program.

The MPIC, which opened in January 2021, was damaged in December 2021 during typhoon Odette.

MPIF has allocated P4.5 million for the rehabilitation of the center located in Barangay Day-as, while another P7 million has been allocated by the local government unit (LGU) for the construction of a boardwalk to allow tourists to view the nine hectares of mangroves in the area.


A budget has also been allocated for the relaunch of the Mangrove Eco-Guide Program, which will have eco-guides given a monthly allowance of P6,000.

The MPIC will serve as the center for the protection and propagation of mangrove trees in the coastal areas, including the rehabilitation of degraded mangroves in Cordova. Cordova is estimated to have around 200 hectares of mangroves.

The MPIC will also provide information to locals and tourists so they can appreciate the importance and benefits of mangroves in the ecosystem.

Cordova Mayor Cesar Suan told media that the rehabilitation of the MPIC had long been requested and it had been agreed that MPIF would focus on the rehabilitation of the building while the LGU would focus on the construction of the boardwalk and tourism.

Suan said the MPIC can be accessed by the public for free, but the LGU will look into charging visitors an environmental fee to maintain the area.

“This is really free for the public,” said Suan.

Herbert Laboy, vice president and project manager of Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corp., said the two-story building, which is around 200 square meters, will have enhancements, such as a tourism office, and will have glass panels.

“Kaniadto open ra man gyud na sa ubos og sa taas (That used to be just open at the bottom and top),” said Laboy.

Laboy said there will be small changes to the floor plan of the building, and the renovations will take around three to four months to complete.

Laboy added that the only possible challenge in rehabilitation is bringing in materials, but he said this was a minor problem. The master plan has been approved, and the LGU and MPIF are now selecting a contractor to work on the project.

Tourist attraction

Laboy also said construction will be easier, unlike during the initial construction of the MPIC when it was during the Covid-19 pandemic when restrictions were implemented.

In an interview with SunStar Cebu, Cordova Vice Mayor Victor Tago said the construction of the boardwalk which will complement the rehabilitation of the MPIC will bring in local and foreign tourists, which in turn will help the businesses in the barangay.

“Once there are tourists, business will open up,” said Tago.

Antonio Salonoy, a former eco guide, said the MPIC’s return is important for the protection and conservation of mangroves in Cordova. He added that the MPIC was used to conduct training and seminars on the conservation of mangroves.

Salonoy said many local and foreign tourists, especially from Korea, visited the center before it was closed due to damage from typhoon Odette.

“Korean gyud ang pinaka-daghang bisita (Most of the visitors were Korean),” said Salonoy.


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