Left photo: ERDB Director, Dr. Sofio B. Quintana extends his heartfelt gratitude to the CRERDEC staff and urges them to be pro-active and shall be the frontrunner in carrying out CARCAP projects and activities.  Right photo: CRERDEC Center Head, Dr. Alicia L. Lustica acknowledges the ERDB Director’s overwhelming support and guidance on the research center’s programs, projects, and activities.

Dr. Sofio B. Quintana, Director of the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) extended his heartfelt gratitude to the staff of the Coastal Resources and Ecotourism Research, Development and Extension Center (CRERDEC) for the warm welcome during his recent visit at the CRERDEC’s main office in Camp 7, Minglanilla, Cebu last January 17-18, 2019.  During the consultation-dialogue, Director Quintana underscored CRERDEC’s significant role in the implementation of Carrying Capacity.  According to Director Quintana, CRERDEC needs to be pro-active and shall be the frontrunner in carrying out CARCAP projects and activities, not just in the Visayas but other tourism destinations in Luzon and Mindanao as well.  “We need to ensure that our conservation efforts would not be compromised by ongoing tourism development projects, hence your all-out support is expected to determining the carrying capacity of tourism destinations including priority areas such as El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Puerto Galera in Mindoro, Panglao Island in Bohol, and Siargao in Mindanao”, Director Quintana said.

ERDB Director, Dr. Sofio B. Quintana and CRERDEC Center Head, Dr. Alicia Lustica in a photo opportunity with the CRERDEC staff at the façade of the Visayas Forest Tree Seed Center Building.

Director Quintana also mentioned the directives of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, such as the strengthening of structure and functions of DENR line bureaus. In line with this, Director Quintana reminded the CRERDEC staff to work closely with other agencies, partners, stakeholder’s, and especially with the DENR Regional Offices through continued support and pro-active assistance to DENR’s various activities.

Meanwhile, Dr. Alicia L. Lustica, CRERDEC Center Head, likewise apprised researchers on the center’s revised framework and aligning research proposals in the sphere of enhancing resilience of the coastal areas to support ecotourism development.  In addition, she also shared some significant concerns raised during the DENR 7 Executive Committee (Execom) Meeting held last January 15, 2019.  According to Dr. Lustica, DENR 7 Regional Executive Director Gilbert Gonzales strongly urged the DENR Visayas Research Center to collaborate actively with the DENR regional offices to highlight the significance of a science-based DENR projects and activities.

Discussion during the meeting also detailed the status of CRERDEC’s main office facilities vis-ἀ vis current office structures, internet access, and transportation. It also spotlighted the familiarity and application of the quality management system (QMS). According to Dr. Lustica, CRERDEC will be the first among centers to go through the required performance evaluation for QMS, hence she sought the commitment and cooperation of CRERDEC staff to familiarize and support the office system and operations according to the guidelines set for the successful implementation of the ISO 9001 QMS.

The ERDB Director’s visit culminated with a tour on CRERDEC’s office facilities and structures and field inspection of the Research, Development and Extension (RDE) projects.  He also had the chance to meet and talk briefly with the Minglanilla National High School Senior High Students on Immersion Program, the People’s Organization and other members of the community at Camp 7, Minglanilla, Cebu and Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary in Lapulapu City, Cebu. Ann F. Jumawan, CRERDEC