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Barangay San Pedro


Conservation benefit: Establishment of marine sanctuary for 20 years

Community benefit: Building to house a community-managed drugstore

Date Approved: 06.2007


This project protects ocean ecosystems, making coastal communities more economically and physically secure in the face of climate change.

The barangay (village) of San Pedro lies along the coast of Biri Island, in Northern Samar. Its population of 1,138 relies heavily on fishing for subsistence. Potable water is scarce, and health services are very limited.

The Center for Empowerment and Resource Development is working with San Pedro to implement a coastal resource management program. The barangay has agreed to preserve 25 acres of marine habitat, locally known as Kapig-itan Reef, as a no-take zone for at least 20 years. The community passed a resolution to this effect, which is awaiting adoption by the Municipal Council.

In exchange for protecting and managing Kapig-itan Reef, Seacology will fund a small building to house the barangay drugstore. The Philippines Department of Health will provide affordable medicines under its Barangay Drugstore (Botika sa Barangay) program.

Project Updates

December 2009

Ferdie Marcelo reports that medical supplies are being replenished with some regularity. The community deals with frequent typhoons by anticipating demand and stocking up before shortages occur. The marine protected area is thriving, with marine life reportedly increasing. The community can easily monitor the sanctuary because it is right in front of the barangay captain’s house. No poaching has been reported.

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June 2009

The barangay pharmacy is operational, but frequent typhoons hamper regular delivery of medical supplies, and sometimes weeks pass before they are replenished. The community is hopeful that the Municipal Government of Biri will address the supply problem soon. The marine protected area has been demarcated by buoys, and no poaching has been reported.

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May 2008

Construction began in March 2008, and all major work was complete by April. Local and adjoining community members, the local fisherfolk organization, and the Barangay Council met to discuss and outline the specifics of the conservation area and the health services to be provided at the pharmacy. Plans for mid-2008 include making arrangements for two villagers to undergo health worker training and adding electricity to the building.

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December 2007

After elections in October 2007, the size of the marine sanctuary had to be reduced from 12 hectares (30 acres) to 10 hectares (roughly 24.7 acres). The project is scheduled to begin in early 2007. Plans indicate that total construction time for the pharmacy will be about two months.

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October 2007

The project is on hold until the newly elected municipal officials approve to establish the protected area. It is estimated that this will be done by the end of 2007.

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