Burias-Ticao Pass is composed of two straits (Burias Strait and Ticao Strait) that separates Burias Island and Ticao Island from the Bicol Peninsula in the Philippines. It connects the Ragay Gulf in the north and Samar Sea in the south.
The proposed seascape is a triangulation of the provinces of Albay, Masbate and Sorsogon (ALMASOR) and covers an area of 414,244 hectares.
Some 93,843 inhabitants ( 2010 census) within the proposed Burias-Ticao Pass Protected Seascape are among the most vulnerable sectors of society comprising the fishery sector and coastal communities having a poverty rate of 41.4% (NSCB 2014 report).
While the moneyed and greedy commercial fishing tycoons haul bucketful of marine catch, the poor fishermen are left with meager catch not even enough to sustain three meals a day!
House Bill No. 5966 was filed in 2015 which proposes the Ticao-Burias Pass to be declared as a Marine Protected Area which is supported in the Senate by Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate’s committee on environment and natural resources. HB 5966 was authored by Albay 3rd District Rep. Fernando V. Gonzalez and co-authored by 2nd District of Masbate Representative Elisa T. Kho and 1st District of Sorsogon Representative Evelina Escudero.
Due to Congressman Gonzalez’s proposal, the Burias-Ticao Pass Protected Seascape caused the creation of Protected Area Management Board (PAMB), strengthened convergence, collaboration, cooperation, cooptation and complementation among various national and local agencies, and other stakeholders in addressing the vulnerability of sectors through rationalized investment policies, programs and activities; andsecured the interconnectivity that will support economic activities and cross-cutting development plans that are vertically and horizontally aligned to the Bicol Regional Development Plan in 2015 by current Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Sarte Salceda, Albay Governor and Regional Development Council (RDC) Chair Al Francis Bichara and Congressional Priority Projects headed by Congressman Gonzalez.
The Burias-Ticao Pass is home to whale sharks (Butanding), the gentle giants of the deep, manta rays, dugong and various species of sea turtles, exotic coral reefs, the Burias-Ticao Pass is lately discovered to be a habitat of the globally-rare Megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagies).
Protected seascapes promote wholesome interaction between man and ocean, opportunities for public enjoyment, environmental protection, coastal conservation, recreation, eco-cultural tourism and economic progress.
Thus the urgent need to ratify House Bill No.5966, an act declaring the Burias-Ticao Pass as Protected Seascape.
Burias-Ticao Pass Protected Seascape Development Partners:
Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region V, House of Representatives, Office of the Albay 3rd District Representative Fernando V. Gonzalez, Office of the Albay 2nd District Representative Joey S. Salceda, Local Government Unit of Ligao City led by Mayor Patricia Alsua, Local Climate Change Adaptation for Development led by Executive Director Nong C. Rangasa
Bicol Regional Development Council led by Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara, Provincial Government of Albay, Provincial Government of Masbate, Provincial Government of Sorsogon, Local Government Unit of Pio Duran