State of Region's ENR

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  ENVIRONMENT  

4On Air Quality

It is the DENR’s mandate to ensure good condition of air relative to the requirement of all biotic species. There are three (3) classifications of sources of air pollution: a) stationary source-any building or immobile structure, facility or installation which emits or may emit any air pollutant; b) mobile source-any vehicle/machine propelled by or through oxidation or reduction reactions including combustion of carbon-based or other fuel, constructed and operated principally for the conveyance of persons or the transportation of property or goods that emit air pollutants as a reaction product; and c) area source-relatively large areas of specific activities that generate significant amounts of air pollutants (DENR-EMB, 2009).

Air pollution seems not to be a problem in the Region, except on few areas with industries, heavy vehicular traffic, and some open dumpsites.

Ambient Air Monitoring of TSP ConcentrationUnder the Linis-Hangin Program, vehicles are being tested for emission. A number of establishments/industrial firms with Air Pollution Source Equipments (APSE) are being inspected yearly. Also, more than 30 Private Emission Testing Centers (PETC’s) are being monitored in close coordination with the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

Based on the 2009 National Air Quality Status Report of the EMB, from the period of 2004 to 2007, the Total Suspended Particulates (TSP) level, particularly in Cavite was within the standard for ambient air quality, which is below 230 ug/Ncm and even experienced a decreasing trend: 84 ug/Ncm (2004); 62 ug/Ncm (2005); 59 ug/Ncm (2006); and 46 ug/Ncm (2007). In CY 2010, there exist two (2) sampling stations for ambient air quality monitoring. These are located in Batangas City, Batangas and Lucena City in Quezon. The sampling station in Cavite back then was damaged. The recorded TSP level in Batangas and Quezon were within the standard for ambient air quality. For Batangas, TSP is at its peak on January 2010 while Quezon is on July 2010.

 

  NATURAL RESOURCES  

4Water Resources

Water is an essential element of life. Every ecosystem depends on water for survival. There are critical links in improving water resources management, access to water supply and sanitation, poverty reduction, hunger mitigation, improved health and education, gender equality and environmental sustainability (NWRB, 2006).

=Rivers, Lakes

CALABARZON is endowed with abundant water resources. It has nine (9) lakes, of which seven (7) are found in San Pablo City, Laguna: the Bunot; Calibato; Mohicap; Palakpakin; Pandin; Sampalok; and Yambu. Almost 12% of the total Lake area of these seven lakes is utilized for aquaculture. The two (2) other lakes are Laguna and Taal Lakes. Laguna Lake is the country’s largest lake with a total area of 3,813.2 sq km and is also one of the largest lakes in Southeast Asia.

Pursuant to DENR Administrative Order No. 1990-34 and in accordance with the Manual of Procedure for Water Classification, several rivers within the Region were already evaluated and classified. Table-1 provides for the lists of evaluated and classified water bodies with corresponding descriptions of classification.

Several environmental reports revealed that the main source of water pollution in the Region is domestic wastes. To ensure that major water bodies are in safe and satisfactory condition according to their best usage, seven (7) lakes were assessed by the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) from the period of 1996 to 2005 (see Table-2).

In support to the reduction of pollution within Taal Lake, dismantling of illegal structures along the said Lake has started since CY 2009. The Pansipit River has been cleared of all existing illegally established aquaculture structures. In CY 2010, continuous inventory of existing aquacultures has been conducted. It was noted that there were 7,093 floating structures (bamboo, steel, PVC) within municipalities of San Nicolas, Talisay, Laurel, and Agoncillo in Batangas.

Also, during CY 2010, four (4) major rivers have undergone assessment under the Sagip-Ilog Program of the EMB: the Imus River; Cañas River; Ylang-Ylang River; and Pansipit River. These rivers were classified under the Class C category of water bodies. Per assessment, Imus and Ylang-Ylang Rivers were no longer suitable for fishery purposes and need immediate rehabilitation.

On the other hand, Cañas and Pansipit Rivers passed the criteria for Class C in terms of BOD, DO, and pH concentrations. Under the Beach Watch Program, it is unfortunate that all beaches monitored in CY 2010 within the province of Cavite failed the standard fecal coliform requirement.

=Bays

There are also Bays in the region; the Manila Bay covering the province Cavite; the Balayan and adjacent Bay in Batangas; Laguna de Bay covering the province of Laguna and portions of Rizal; and the Tayabas Bay in Quezon. Based on December 2010 Monthly Water Quality Report of LLDA, there were improvements in the status of water quality within Central West, East, Central, and Northern West portions of Laguna de Bay and within Bay, Tanay, and Morong Rivers. On the other hand, worse cases were noted within Marikina, Mangangate, Tunasan, San Pedro, Cabuyao, San Cristobal, San Juan Rivers, and Sapang Baho Rivers.

=Watersheds

To date, there are fourteen (14) Proclaimed Watershed Forest Reserve (see Table 3)and twenty-four (24) critical watersheds supporting the National Irrigation System (NIS).

Figure 1. Ground Water Availability MapFigure 1 provides the groundwater availability within CALABARZON. Portions that receive water from some of the Kanan and Infanta Watershed tributaries, specifically covering the municipality of Infanta, Quezon are characterized with extensive and highly productive aquifers while portions that receive water from watershed areas covered by Proclamation 1636 and from some of Umiray, Kanan, Upper Marikina River Basin, Pamitinan, Hinulugang Taktak, Masungi Rock, and other major watershed tributaries covering municipalities of Rodriguez, Antipolo, San Mateo, Baras, Tanay, Pililia, and Jala-jala in Rizal and Talim Island, Mauban and Atimonan in Quezon, Cuenca, Lipa, and Nasugbu in Batangas, Bay, Los Baños, and Victoria in Laguna municipalities have no significant groundwater productivity.

 

4Land

Land is considered as the principal instrument in fostering social justice, development, provision of decent dwellings, and health conditions (UN, 1976).

CALABARZON has a total land area of 1,622,861 hectares or 5.4% of the country’s total land area. Per available data, 64.82% is certified Alienable and Disposable, 33.88% is classified forest land, and 1.30% is unclassified forestland (Table 4). As of CY 2010, more than 100,000 hectares have been distributed to qualified individuals for residential, commercial, and industrial purposes under the Land Distribution Program of the DENR.

Land resource quality in the Region has been decreasing due to erosion, deforestation, and land conversion. Moreover, the changing weather patterns during the past years have brought prolonged droughts and excessive rains. These certainly affect productivity of the land, including quality of surface water. Lower yields in crops and poor survival of plantations are to be expected.

Figure 2. Landslide Susceptibility Map
The Bureau of Soils and Water Management came up with Land Degradation Assessment and identified soil erosion hotspot covering a total of 238,153.84 hectares within the Region. Per Landslide Susceptibility Map produced by the Decision and Support Services Office (DSSO) of DENR Region IV-A in January of CY 2011, large portion of Rizal is highly susceptible to landslide, while bigger portions of lands within Cavite and Batangas have low susceptibility (see Figure 2).

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture -Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (DA-BAS) CY 2010 database provides a total of 438,673 hectares of land or 27% of the total land area of the Region are planted to coconut. Out of this, 74% is within the province of Quezon. The establishment of coconut plantations increased by 28% since 2005. With increasing trend, this could in turn limit the so-called ecological productivity of the land.

The DENR Region IV-A is currently conducting an Inventory of CARP Scope (ICS) in order to come-up with the latest status of land within the Region. This information will be very useful in the identification of potential sites for developmental and land management and distribution programs of the Department.

 

4Forests

Forests are vital for the well-being of all living organisms. They serve as habitat for biodiversity and source of livelihood for human beings. It is not possible to mention in just few words the importance of forests in order to justify the need for their proper management.

Forestlands cover a total of 570, 913 hectares or 35% of the total land area of the Region. The CY 2009 Philippine Forestry Statistics provides that the total forest cover of the Region is 289,673 hectares, of which 56% is Open Forest, 40% Closed/Broad-leaved, and 4% Mangrove Forest (Table 5).

Since 2001, a total of 5,769.67 hectares were already reforested under the Community-Based Forest Management, Soil Conservation and Watershed Management, Protected Area Management, and Coastal and Marine Resources Management Programs of the Department . Meanwhile, a total of 37,743.91 hectares or 7% of the total forestlands are under the management of various Peoples Organizations and Associations per issued tenurial instruments such as Community-based Forest Management Agreement (CBFMA), Socialized Industrial Forest Management Agreement (SIFMA), Industrial Forest Management Agreement (IFMA), Private Forest Development Agreement (PFDA), Forestland Grazing Management Agreement (FLGMA), Tree Farm Lease Agreement (TFLA), and Industrial Tree Plantation License Agreement (ITPLA).

 

4Biodiversity

"Biological diversity" means the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part: this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems (UN-CBD, 1992). It plays an important role in ecosystem functions and in the many services that ecosystems provide such as water and nutrient cycling, soil formation and retention, resistance against invasive/alien species, plant food production and pollination, climate, including pests and pollution control. It enriches ones lives in ways that are not easy to quantify. Biodiversity loss is a significant issue not just for scientists but also for planners and policy-makers.

CALABARZON is a home to diverse flora and fauna. Some endemic species that can be found in the region include the following: Philippine Teak (Tectona philippinensis); Malabayabas (Tristanopsis decorticata), Jade Vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys), Maliputo (Caranx ignobilis), Tawilis (Sardinella tawilis), and Mouse-like mammal. Among the dominant forest tree species are Kamagong (Diospyros blancoi), White Lauan (Shorea contorta), Red Lauan (Shorea negrosensis), Guijo (Shorea guijo), and Pili (Canarium ovatum). A study conducted by the Professional Environmental Management Company (PEMC) in 1995 revealed that there are 123 species of wildlife within the Region; (76) birds; (21) reptiles; (16) mammals ; and (10) amphibians.

In 2004, a total of 35 animal species were classified as threatened. As part of ecosystem management and habitat restoration, nine (9) protected areas covering a total of 104,997.85 hectares were already proclaimed as Protected Landscapes. These PA’s are being developed/reforested and monitored in terms of the number of biodiversity species and occupants . As targeted in CY 2010, Mts. Palay-Palay/Mataas na Gulod Protected Landscape exhibited a decrease in number of some wildlings of flora species. In Quezon Protected Landscape, report revealed that there was a significant increase in the number of wildlife species as compared to CY 2009. More than 50% of some species emerged per observation on established Transect Routes.

Figure 3. Map showing boundary of Verde Island PassageThe Region is fortunate to cover portions of the Verde Island Passage Marine Biodiversity Conservation Corridor, one of the richest fishing grounds and top tourist destinations in the country (see Figure 3). Per survey in 2006, several cetacean species were identified thriving in the area with the Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus) having the highest number of sightings. The following species were also identified: spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) spotted dolphin (S. attenuata), bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and Fraser’s dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei). Skeletal remains of a stranded dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima) were also found which may indicate the presence of the species in the area (Conservation International). In its effort to properly manage and conserve this biodiversity hotspot, the DENR Region IV-A crafted and finalized a Verde Island Passage Marine Corridor Management Plan, for adoption by the concerned local government units (LGU’s). Moreover, the conduct of surveillance and inventory of illegal structures revealed that there were informal settlers (Badjaos from Mindanao), dumpsites, and proliferation of residential and commercial establishments in the area.

The Region also has varied and diverse coastal resources that provide food and employment for a majority of its populace. Table 6 provides the latest inventory of coral reefs in selected sanctuaries and fish reserves within CALABARZON. The presence of coral reefs is vital to the survival of fish and other marine creatures. Per DA-BAS database there is a relatively increasing trend in the aquaculture production from 2005 to 2010.

 

4Minerals

The Region has a variety of mineral resources, both metallic and non-metallic. Among the metallic minerals are gold, copper, chromite, iron, manganese, and nickel while non-metallic includes andesite, basalt, clay, gravel, sand, marble, limestone, feldspar, and rock aggregates.

As provided by the MGB-Region IV-A in 2008, Batangas province has the highest potential for copper ore, gold, lead, and clay. Moreover, Batangas is the only province with barite and gypsum. On the other hand, Rizal province reportedly has the highest potential in terms of iron, limestone, shale/silica, and concrete aggregate/sand gravel,

The probability of occurrences of mineral deposits with economic potentials within Cavite is considered unlikely. The only mineral deposits of commercial value in the area are volcanic rocks such as basalt and andesite. Quezon province is the second highest in terms of availability of copper ore, gold, and limestone.

As of July 2011, more than 30,000 hectares are being excavated for sand and gravel, and explored for gold, copper, silica, zinc, basalt, andesite, limestone, etc. content within Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, and Laguna provinces.