Two foreign validators from the Most Beautiful Bays in the World (MBBW) Club arrived in Mati City, Davao Oriental, on Wednesday.
MBBW founder and manager Bruno Bodard, together with MBBW treasurer Guy Ettiene Rousset, is in Mati for the validation of Pujada Bay’s inclusion in its “Most Beautiful Bays in the World” list.
Bodard and Rousset will visit several areas within the Pujada Bay in the next days before flying back to their headquarters in Europe., said Mayor Michelle Rabat.
Rabat hopes the application to include Pujada Bay in the MBBW list would be approved.
“The Pujada Bay’s inclusion in the prestigious list would boost the tourism industry not just in the City of Mati but the province as well,” the mayor said.
The Davao Oriental team presented the Pujada Bay application to join the club during the MBBW congress in Japan last October.
The Philippines is among the 26-member countries of the club, with Puerto Galera Bay as the lone bay in the country included in the official MBBW list.
In 1994, the Pujada Bay Landscape and Seascape was declared as a protected area under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) through Presidential Proclamation No. 431. This was reinforced by Republic Act 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 2018 (E-NIPAS) approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Areas protected under this law are those with “national significance characterized by the harmonious interaction of man and land while providing opportunities for public enjoyment through the recreation and tourism within the normal lifestyle and economic activity of these areas”. Covering about 20,0887.43 hectares of protected landscapes and seascapes,
Pujada Bay is bounded by the Guang-guang Peninsula in the east and the Pujada Peninsula in the west.
Forming a cove, waters within the bay are marked with calmness being protected from the crashing waves of the open sea, an advantage which offers seafarers and fishermen a safe harbor in times of storms.
Within the bay are islets and small islands – two of them the Pujada Island at the mouth of the bay and the Waniban Island are famous and frequented by tourists for their powdery, white-sand beaches and crystal-clear blue waters. (PNA)