WHEN ALFREDO MARAÑON was mayor of Escalante, Negros Occidental during the Marcos years, he had initiated a very successful marine conservation program. He had engaged the help of Dr. Angel Alcala, the marine expert, on how to implement the program.
STARTED SMALL – The project started with just 200 hectares in the Carbin Reef but had expanded eventually to 30,000 hectares as a Protected Seascape, a marine reserve.
VANDALIZED BY OIC – All was not well, however, after the EDSA revolution. The OIC who was designated to replace then Mayor Marañon had vandalized the marine reserve. Dr. Alcala was rep;orted to have shed tears when he discovered that the giant clams he had stocked in the area were cannibalized.
REHAB RESUMED – Fortunately, Marañon was reelected and immediately resumed the rehabilitation of the vandalized marine reserve. When he became congressman after his term as mayor, he continued to support the conservation program. One of his first acts was to allocate P400,000 from his Countrywide Development Fund for the construction of a concrete watchtower in Carbin Reef and one more in another area.