TACLOBAN CITY—Homonhon Island is on the brink of long-awaited development, as Guiuan Mayor Annaliza Gonzales-Kwan announced plans for a comprehensive land use and development strategy that will encompass the island’s needs.

Mayor Kwan stated that as their town prepares its comprehensive land use plan, they will also integrate a five-year comprehensive development plan for the historic island.
This inclusive plan will engage all stakeholders, including mining companies, which currently have four active operations on the island.

Kwan emphasized that the plan will prioritize ensuring that mining activities adhere to regulations and eliminate environmental abuses.

Measures will be outlined to ensure that mining companies operate in compliance with established guidelines.

Also, the plan will provide guidance to villages on the proper utilization of the social development management program (SDMP) funds.

SDMP funds, which constitute 10 percent of the total operational costs of mining companies on the island, have previously been misused for purposes unrelated to development, such as fiesta celebrations.

“We already had our first meeting last March 15, and next month we will be conducting a series of meetings to finalize our plans for the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) for Homonhon Island and identify the needs of the eight villages,” the town mayor said.
Additionally, Mayor Kwan revealed that the municipality is set to receive P5.6 million in excise tax this quarter.

All excise tax revenue generated from the mining companies operating on the island will be allocated to the villages of Homonhon, providing crucial resources for local development initiatives, she added.