A ten-year old child died of dengue in the Municipality of Bani, Pangasinan. It had only been a couple of days since Mayor Gabriel E. Navarro took office, but he immediately ordered the cleanup of the coastline to ensure the tragedy would never happen again.
This was how the story of the Bani Coastal Resource Management Program began.
The program has evolved into an institutionalized management of Bani’s coastal resources, including Lingayen Gulf which several other municipalities share.
The municipality thought of the program to protect the coastline and provide residents with an alternative and sustainable source of livelihood that would not harm the environment.
Bani partnered with the University of the Philippines’ Marine Science Institute to create a Philippine Fisheries Information System Software that facilitated registration and licensing of Bani fishermen.
Illegal structures within the waters of Bani were removed and mangrove nurseries were established. There are now more than 42 hectares of mangrove forest in Bani, tanks to residents who made an enterprise.
At Pangasinan Mayors League, Mayor Navarro convinced other officials of neighboring municipalities to an intermunicipality cooperation to protect the span of the entire coastline. Today, the municipal officials are exploring eco-tourism options that would ensure the protection of the waters while generating income from tourism activities.
This program is recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Programs in the 2005 Galing Pook Awards.