Skip to main content

Puraran Surfing Needs Private Sector Participation

For years now, some sectors including the Commission on Audit have been wondering why the provincial government and its municipal counterpart continues to insist on holding the yearly surfing competition in Puraran, Baras.

While there is certainly merit in promoting the Majestic waves off the coastal barangay to the whole world, there is little sense in funding a surfing competition that, with its decidedly small budget, attracts only surfers from other surfing spots in the country like Bagasbas in Camarines Norte, Siargao, La Union and Baler. From the budget of P609,000.00 in 2011, the COA said, the Baras LGU spent about P200,000 as cash prizes for the surfing contest and another P51,000 for the Bikini Open, plus P30,000 for the hiring of a band for a beach party. The kitty includes allocations for accommodation of the competing surfers, whose transportation expenses may have been likewise shouldered by the sponsoring LGUs.

The agency’s finding, contained in the 2011 Annual Audit Report on the local government’s transactions, noted that the LGU has been spending financial and human resources for such an activity for a long time, but apparently no income has been generated.
Generally speaking, tourism promotion is an investment activity..., thus return of investment in the form of income or at least improved living condition of the people is expected,
the report said.
If there was no positive return on investment or any sign of economic gains, such activity must be discontinued because expenditures related thereto can be considered as unnecessary expenditures...

For such an activity of the local government to generate income, it has to attract corporate sponsorships as well as generate considerable spending from visitors who will come to watch the tournament. Apparently, the town’s report on the surfing competition does not even list whether indeed Manila-based corporations gave cash for the right to display their banners as sponsors. There is also no data on how many visitors from outside the island came to watch the action on the waves and spend their money for food, accommodation and souvenirs. For the town to claim that there is a return on investment on its expense, there must be verifiable data that the business establishments at Puraran beach earned a substantial amount from sources other than the LGU’s event expenses. The report has not even touched the operation of the LGU guesthouse at the beach.

Since the very start, the choice of Puraran surfing as Baras One-Town, One-Product (OTOP) project has been a difficult one. The surfing season lasts only three months from July to September, when the prevailing “habagat” wind blows offshore and creates three-meter waves and up. The Majestic waves are said to be suited for professional surfers, not for amateurs, as they break on a dangerous coral reef. While the other 10 towns have products like pili or mud crab that grow or is available the entire year, Baras has to lie idle for nine months.

In the absence of any economic gains for the people of Baras from the surfing competition in the past decade, the municipal government and the provincial government would be well advised to heed the auditors’ recommendation that the management of the event be turned over to the private sector. An even more palatable option would be to convince one of the country’s hotel chains or tourism operators to establish a foothold in Puraran. That would be a real achievement.

Editorial, Catanduanes Tribune

Popular posts from this blog

2008 Civil Service Examination Passers - Examination Passers

Civil Service Examination - Subprofessional
CSC RO V - Rawis, Legazpi City
Date: November 16, 2008 Seq # Examinee No. Examinee Name 1 582872ABALON, MARIAN DOROTHY O 2 586574ABRAGAN, MICHAEL FRANCIS F 3 586733ACAL, KAREN KAYE I 4 586575ACERON, MILANDRO B 5 582785ADOPTANTE, ANGELO LESTER N 6 582766AGUILAR, JEROSS R 7 582952AGUILAR, RORY S 8 586835ALPARAN, OLIVE A 9 586847ALVAREZ, MICHAELSON Y 10 582594ALVAREZ, SEYCHELLE M 11 582572ANGELES, MIRALYN A 12 582669ARCILLA, ARMIE A 13 582904ARCOS, EDEN R 14 582790ATIGA, RIENA M 15 586625AUREUS, EDGAR MANUEL A 16 582761AVENIDO, PRECIOUS B 17 582942AZORES, MYLA E 18 586762BAESA, MARC EDWIN S 19 582559BAEZA, ROWEL G 20 582682BAGHERI, CHERRYMAE C 21 586783BALINGBING, MAY ANN A 22 586661BARBONIO, EUGENE P 23 582812BARRAMEDA, LESLIE H 24 586558

Viga Mayor Partners with 31 Schools on Food Production

Thirty-one schools in the municipality of Viga have entered into a partnership with Mayor Emeterio “Bong’ Tarin in the Gulayan sa Paaralan program mandated by the Department of Agriculture. Last Nov. 5-9, Mayor Tarin and wife Ma. Theresa Lorraine made the rounds of the four high schools, 26 elementary schools and one primary school to distribute seeds as the municipal government’s assistance to the schools in said program. This assistance is intended to uplift the livelihood and life of my fellow Viganons, Tarin stated, adding that the effort is being coordinated with the recipient schools and its officials, particularly Viga West district supervisor Rosario Peña and Viga East district supervisor Henry Marin, barangay captains and officials, and the DA. Tarin initiated the grant of the assistance upon learning of the Gulayan sa Paaralan program of DA Sec. Proceso Alcala who sought to promote self-help food production activities and values among children that will emphasize agricu…

Arcilla, Political Law Bar Examiner - CT

A Viracnon has done it again. For four Sundays of September, law graduates undergo the most important rite of passage in the legal profession: the BAR examinations. The Bar is a rigorous test of eight subjects, each testing the graduates’ knowledge, reasoning and writing abilities. One of the examiners in the 2008 Bar Exam is Atty. Juanito Gianan Arcilla of Marcelo Alberto, Virac. Atty. Arcilla prepared the Bar questions on Political and International Law. The said exam consisted of the following subjects and its corresponding weighted average: Political and International Law (15%), Labor and Social Legislation (10%), Civil Law (15%), Taxation (15%), Mercantile Law (15%), Criminal Law (10%), Remedial Law (20%), and Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises (5%) for a total of 100%. Examiners are deemed experts in their respective fields, and are chosen on the basis on their contributions to legal education. Other examiners of the 2008 Bar were Atty. Salvador Poquiz (Labor and Social Le…

DMCI Offers to Put Up Coal Power Plant Here

One of the country’s power industry big players, DMCI Power Corporation, has reportedly offered to establish a coal-fired power plant in Catanduanes, with coal to be sourced from its parent company’s mine in Semirara island. First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FICELCO) General Manager Engr. Samuel Laynes confirmed in a press conference last week that DMCI-PC officials communicated to the cooperative its intention to join the Catanduanes grid as a new power provider and to put up a 7.5-megawatt coal-fired power plant using coal mined from the country’s largest coal mine in Semirara island in Antique. Another 7.5-MW coal-fired plant would also be installed in the next few years once the first is on line. The press briefing was conducted following a spate of power outages caused by yet another breakdown of the 3.6-megawatt bunker-fuel power plant of Catanduanes Power Generation, Inc. (CPGI). GM Laynes disclosed that DMCI has assured that brand-new equipment would be install…

SC Rules LGU's Power Over Small-Scale Mining Deals Not Absolute

MANILA, April 29 (PNA) -- The Supreme Court has ruled local government's power over small-scale mining contracts in their areas is not absolute. In a 20-page ruling, the SC en banc said the enforcement of the small-scale mining law to the provincial government is subject to the supervision, control and review of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The SC, through Associate Justice Diosdado M. Peralta, said under the Administrative Code of 1987, the DENR is empowered to carry out the constitutional mandate of controlling and supervising the exploration, development, utilization, and conservation of the country's natural resources. Hence, the enforcement of small-scale mining law in the provinces is made subject to the supervision, control and review of the DENR under the Local Government Code of 1991, while the People's Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991 provides that the People's Small-Scale Mining Program is to be implemented by the DENR Secretary in …