Sagay Marine Reserve


Sagay City is one of the major fishing coastal communities in the province of Negros Occidental, Philippines.

Man’s wanton abuse of Sagay’s marine environment resulted to massive destruction of coral reefs and other marine habitats in the area. In the late 1970’s, the then municipal mayor and later Congressman Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr. initiated action for the conservation and management of the dying coral reefs with the help and technical expertise of Silliman University Marine Laboratory then headed by Dr. Angel Alcala. Early in 1980, a marine sanctuary was established in Carbin Reef which was proclaimed as a protected area through a municipal ordinance and was extended to Panal, Maca and the fringing reefs of Molocaboc Islands. 

In 1995, the passage of Presidential Proclamation 592 declaring approximately 32,000 hectares of Sagay’s Territorial Waters as Protected Seascape under the National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS) Act was a major milestone for the fishing communities. Later, a landmark legislation providing for stricter enforcement of the laws at the protected areas was authored by Congressman Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr. and passed by Congress as Republic Act. No. 9106, “An Act for the Establishment and Management of Sagay Marine Reserve, defining its Scope, coveraged and for other purposes” which was subsequently signed into law by the President in April 14, 2001. It is being managed by Protected Area Management Board.

Sagay Marine Reserve is now recognized nationally and internationally as one of the most successful marine conservation programs in the Philippines and has won for Sagay in 1997 the prestigious Gawad Galing Pook Award which declared it one of the Ten Most Outstanding and Innovative Government programs in the Philippines. In 1997, SMR won Sagay the prestigious Gawad Galing Pook Award which declared it as one of the Ten Most Outstanding & Innovative Government Programs in the country and was also awarded in 2006 as Best Eco-Tourism Destination in Western Visayas.



Sagay Marine Reserve that is well-managed protected area and a balanced marine and terrestrial ecosystems with abundant resources that caters to the needs of the stakeholders towards sustainable development and progress and is considered as one of the prime ecotourism destinations in the Philippines
Sagay Marine Reserve is establishment to preserve and maintain a highly productive, biologically diverse and ecologically balanced marine ecosystem through a community-based management that will promote sustainable use of the resources and also provides opportunities for public enjoyment through recreation and tourism within the normal lifestyle and economic activity of the area.


Resource Management Section.

Conducts research and monitoring activities impact of management strategies; initiates development projects through sustainable use of resources to improve economic conditions while enhancing protection of the environment.

Social Development Section.

Establishes effective community organizations and introduces livelihood projects that will discourage illegal fishing practices and decrease dependence on marine resources for sustenance.

Law Enforcement Section.

Implement laws and regulations through surveillance and monitoring of the protected area.

Licensing & Permit Section.

Grant Permits for sustainable utilization of marine resources in accordance with existing rules and regulations governing the Reserve. Conducts color coding scheme for fishing boats below 3 gross tons and other fishing structures which provide fishermen preferential use rights inside the reserve.


Marine Resources

33 species of true mangroves & 10 mangroves associate species
500 has of mangroves, more than 100 has were reforested
10 species of seagrass covering 3,000 has
78 species of Macro Benthic Algae
60 Genera of Hard, Black & Soft Corals
5 species of giant clams
more than 250 species of Reef & Pelagic fishes
4 species of marine turtles
Giant Fruit Bats




Gawad Galing Pook Awards
Top Ten Innovative Program on Marine Conservation and Protection AIM and Ford Foundation


Best Aquatic Resources Management in the Philippines DOST-PCAMRD


One of the Ten Most Outstanding and Innovative Government Programs Best Ecotourism Product in Western Visayas. 


2nd Place, “Outstanding Marine Protected Area” 
among the 170 entries by the Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Support Network (MSN)

Tourism Destinations

Himoga-an River Cruise
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the newest tourism activity in Sagay City , the cruise is a two-hour boat trip from Brgy. Fabrica wharf plying through the city’s longest river, Himoga-an and ends at Brgy. Old Sagay.   There are interesting and delightful sceneries along the way like the carabao island, migratory birds frolickin on the mangroves...

Sagay Marine Reserve
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Sagay Marine Reserve gives our City Government every reason to invite tourists to experience the charm of our sea, sand and sights.  Carbin Reef is a marine sanctuary with its huge, tongued-shaped, creamy white sandbar and its clear waters offers the freshest option for swimming, snorkeling...

Museo sang Bata sa Negros
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It's the second hands-on and interactive children's museum in the country and its first marine museum.  The museum has an interesting whale-shaped edifice and is located at the port area of Brgy. Old Sagay, 5.5 km. from the city proper.  MSBN has four permanent exhibit areas:  The Marine Story...