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Affected Municipalities

MUNICIPALITY OF PINAMALAYAN

Municipal Profile:

The Municipality of Pinamalayan, which has a total land area of 27,800 has., lies almost at the center of the Province of Oriental Mindoro. It is about 118 kilometers from the Municipality of Puerto Galera and 120 kilometers from the town of Bulalacao, the last town of the province going to the south. Situated along the coastline tip, it resembles a hand pointing towards the island of Marinduque. It is bounded in the north by the Municipalities of Socorro and Pola; in the west by the Province of Occidental Mindoro; in the east by Tablas Strait and in the south by Quinabigan River and the Municipality of Gloria.

Pinamalayan is a mainly a fishing municipality, and primarily concerned with protecting and preserving its municipal waters. The river system in the municipality of Pinamalayan flows to the Pula River and drains to Tablas Strait. This coastal area along Tablas Strait is primarily the fishing ground of the municipality.

Pinamalayan, like its neighboring municipalities, is frequently visited by typhoons particularly during rainy seasons. During heavy rains, practically all rivers and tributaries overflow to the lower areas.

Floods usually occur due to the following reasons: run-off accumulation coming from surrounding elevated areas; their low physiographic positions; poor infiltration; permeability characteristics; and drainability of outlets.

The over-all development direction of the municipality is to emerge as a major food basket and a progressive trading hub of MIMAROPA and the rest of Region IV, with sustainable agriculture, diversified trading activities, enhanced tourism, conserved and protected environment, inhabited by God-centered, empowered and nature- and peace-loving citizenry.

Pinamalayan is one of the identified provincial growth centers and is extremely well positioned to be such. Its highly strategic location, being at the center of the province, augurs well for the development of facilities to service the surrounding municipalities. Current and proposed projects, as identified by several private and government sector plans, further strengthen the municipality's position as a significant hub. Projects that will accelerate development in the municipality include the establishment of a Convention Center as stipulated in the Southern Tagalog Tourism Master Plan, improvement of the airport in Pambisan Munti, proposed direct link to Manila via the Supercat, etc.

The vast land resources of Pinamalayan serve as its primary strength as these are highly suitable for agricultural production. Large areas are presently devoted to the production of major economic crops such as rice, banana, coconut, vegetables and fruit trees. The municipality has formulated concrete agricultural programs and projects that are being implemented by its highly competent and committed agricultural personnel. One of the major visible impacts of these strengths was attaining the highest rice productivity among all rice producing towns in the province. Also, it has a highly successful hog and cattle dispersal program. Its large pasture area can, in turn, be exploited to support the development of a commercial livestock industry not to mention the abundance of raw materials that can be used as feed ingredients.

Other comparative advantages include a rich marine fishing ground off Tablas Strait, large and developed brackishwater fishpond areas, abundance of milkish and prawn fry and fingerlings in the wild, and the growing number of tilapia fishpond areas because of its acceptability as alternative enterprise and protein source.

Pinamalayan and the Mining Project:

Crew Gold's conduct of a feasibility study on Nickel and Cobalt Mining, targeting Barangay Pili as the site of a Processing Plant, which will use Submarine Tailings Disposal (STD) method is a contentious issue among Pinamalayeños. The municipality says that “a critical review of the proposed scheme should be given attention, since the environmental impacts of mining operations are considered irreversible and would cause alteration of the present land use and the potential degradation of marine water quality and marine ecosystem.

The Development Framework of Pinamalayan clearly states that the establishment of mining-related activities in the municipality poses a major threat to the environment and may have an adverse impact on the development of its tourist potentials. Policies aimed for the protection and conservation of the environment shall be put in place.

Its economic development plan is also anchored on the strengthening of agricultural production, promotion of small and medium enterprises, and harnessing of tourism potentials, including developing the coastal barangays Pili, Banilad, Ranzo and Sabang to host tourism-related establishments in the municipality.

It also wants to ensure sustainable utilization of natural resources. There is also strong emphasis in the protection and rehabilitation of forest cover and watersheds, mangroves and coral reefs, while promoting environment-friendly development initiatives such as eco-tourism.

Pinamalayan Municipal Fisheries

There are 401 fisher folks in the municipality, most of them residing along the nine coastal barangays (refer to Table 4.10). As of 1999, the Municipal Agriculturist's Office (MAO) has conducted nine Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (FARMC) classes in the nine coastal barangays. The MAO has also conducted orientations regarding RA 8550 or the Fisheries Code.

Municipal fishing is carried out by motorized and non-motorized fishing boats. The average amounts of fish caught per day per type of boat are three kilograms and one kilogram, respectively. Commercial vessels on the other hand, average 70 kgs. per day.

Overall Development Direction

Development Vision:
By 2010, Pinamalayan shall emerge as a major food basket and a progressive trading hub of MIMAROPA and the rest of Region IV, with sustainable agriculture, diversified trading activities, enhanced tourism, conserved and protected environment, inhabited by God-centered, empowered and nature- and peace- loving citizens.

Mission Statement:
The mission statement represents the municipality’s distinctive and continuing activity within the plan period in order to attain its vision. A two-pronged mission statement was formulated during a multi-sectoral workshop. This is concisely stated as:

To strengthen agricultural production in order to meet the market demands of MIMAROPA and the rest of Region IV while continually exploring alternative sources of livelihood through diversification of trade, industry and tourism carried out in a manner that respects the need to protect the environment and promotes people-centered growth.”





MUNICIPALITY OF VICTORIA:

Area Profile

The Municipality of Victoria is only 34 kilometers, about half an hour travel, from Calapan City, the provincial capital of Oriental Mindoro. Victoria covers a total land area of 29,185 hectares, 11,373 hectares or 39% of which are classified as forest land. Of the forestland, 10,373 hectares are categorized as forest reserve and some 584 hectares are protected forest covering the land portion of the Naujan Lake National Park which is within the jurisdiction of the municipality. Table 1 shows the data on land classification status in Victoria

The economic base of the municipality is basically agricultural. Victoria is also known to be the Fruit Basket of Oriental Mindoro, boasting of having a very high fruit production percentage at 77% of its total agricultural production. Some of its barangays rely on fishery production as they are situated along the Naujan Lake.

Economic development programs of the municipality focus on increase of agricultural and fisheries production. Tourism development includes Naujan Lake Preservation and Development, with emphasis on the environmental and biodiversity significance of the lake. The Naujan Lake National Park is an established protected area under the National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS).

Victoria and the Mining Project

In terms of land area, the biggest barangay, a great portion of which are forestlands is Villa Cerveza with a total land area of 10,989.7 hectares. Two thousand two hundred ninety (2,290) hectares of Brgy. Villa Cerveza comprise a portion of the Mindoro Nickel Project which has a total area of 9,720 has.

In terms of regulatory status, the following falls within certain portion of the municipality: a) Exploration Permit (EP-IVB-04) issued to MINDEX (originally covering a total of 9,720 hectares covering the Municipalities of Victoria, Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro) covering approximately 2,213 hectares within Victoria; b) a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim of the Tadyawan, Mangyan tribe, RO4-CADC 085 issued on June 23, 1997 covering a total of 12,000 hectares and covers part of both Socorro and Victoria.

The whole Province of Oriental Mindoro is interspersed with important watershed and the Municipality of Victoria is no exception. Located on the western side of Victoria is the Mag-asawang Tubig watershed. This particular watershed is being fed by the Mag-asawang Tubig River which joins the Ibulo River and Aglubang River as it travel southward into the Municipality of Sablayan in the neighboring Occidental Mindoro province. This Mag-asawang Tubig watershed, while not a proclaimed watershed area, is very important not only to the Municipality of Victoria but also to the neighboring municipalities considering that it supports 40,000 hectares of irrigated rice fields within these municipalities by ensuring continuous supply of water. The said watershed area covers extensive part of Villa Cerveza, Alcate and Loyal.

Under Environmental Management section of its Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the vision for the environment sector is as follows: Malinis na tubig, makahoy na kabundukan, luntiang kapaligiran at nakikisangkot na mamamayan sa pagtahak sa landas ng pangmatagalang kaunlaran.

Taking this vision into account, the municipality of Victoria aims to conserve, protect and rehabilitate the remaining natural resources within the municipality, in particular, patches of second growth forest and watershed area found in upland areas and dwindling fishery resources.

This objective is aimed towards the institution of conservation, protection and rehabilitation efforts in areas where there are still evident presence of natural resources, particularly the patches of second growth forest that are still found in upland barangays such as Villa Cerveza.

Environmental Threats of the Mindoro Nickel Project:

It should also be seriously considered that a Geohazard Assessment Project is included in the municipal plan to survey and assess geohazard potential taking into account the fact that the island of Mindoro, particularly the western flank of Victoria is being traversed by the Mindoro and Aglubang fault lines. This side of Victoria includes Alcate, Bagong Buhay, Antonino, Bagong Silang, Loyal and Villa Cerveza, the proposed mine site.

The presence of MINDEX/Crew/Aglubang Mining and the perceived environmental threats as a consequence of mining is also specifically stated under the Environmental Key Issues and Concerns section of the Municipal CLUP.

The Mindoro Resources Development, Inc. (MINDEX) has been undertaking mineral exploration activities in Victoria, in particular for nickel laterite/cobalt deposits. It was issued an exploratory permit in March 1997 and the same was renewed in March, 1999. In the same year, MINDEX was bought out by Crew Minerals. In December 7, 2000, a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) was issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to the Aglubang Mining, a subsidiary of Crew Minerals.

Even before the recent issuance of the MPSA and during the start of exploratory activities of the then MINDEX, the citizens of Victoria, in particular and the whole of Oriental Mindoro, in general have continuously expressed vehement and strong objections to the proposed mining operation in view of the following perceived environmental hazards and adverse environmental impacts:

The mining area falls within the Aglubang Watershed, an important watershed as identified and reflected in the Provincial Physical Framework Plan. The Aglubang River and the Mag-asawang River, which are most likely to be affected by the mining operations are the same water sources that supply water to the 40,000 irrigated rice fields of Victoria and its neighboring municipalities such as Naujan, and Baco.

In addition to its unfavorable effect to water quantity, the more adverse impact of mining would be its effect to water quality, especially its likely effects to the quality of both surface and groundwater supply. Victoria draws mostly its domestic water supply from underground sources as evidenced by the abundant springs that can be found within the municipality. The immediate area where mining operations will be undertaken has been described as having shallow to deep well areas , and as such, highly susceptible to groundwater pollution which may emanate from chemicals used in mining and related operations.

The mining area is located within an area identified to be subject of slight to moderate erosion caused by flooding of rivers. It is a fact that mining operations are likely to cause erosion as well as increase sediment loading of nearby rivers. At present, Mag-asawang Tubig River has caused severe flooding of the nearby low-lying areas during rainy season. An increase in soil erosion as well as sediment loading brought about by mining operations nearby is likely to aggravate flooding within the area. Considering the fact that Victoria having Type IV climate with no pronounced dry or wet season, mining operations in the area may further intensify the flooding incidence.

The mining operations may endanger the freshwater resources and biodiversity of nearby area like Naujan Lake considering the proposed disposal of mine tailings and waste is passing through Victoria through pipes into Tablas Strait off Pinamalayan Bay using the process called submarine tailings disposal.

The mining area is situated very near the Central Mindoro Fault Line. As such, it is highly susceptible to geological hazards like ground rupturing, landslide and liquefaction, which in turn may cause adverse environmental impact and may further cause damage to life and properties of nearby barangays. Pressure along the fault line may cause intense rock deformation making the area prone to surface erosion and mass wasting.

The mining operation may entail clearing of vegetation to give way to huge excavation and earthworks. In essence, this will cause decrease in forest cover, which in turn, will affect biodiversity within the area. It should be noted that the whole island of Mindoro, and for that matter the remaining forested portion of Victoria, is considered home to different flora and fauna and therefore, an important gene pool which needs to be conserve and protected at all times. Thus, extractive activities such as mining operation will likely affect the integrity of the area and the local ecosystem.

Continued mining operations will possibly increase the risk of degradation of agriculturally productive land located downstream due to soil disturbance and erosion.





MUNICIPALITY OF NAUJAN

Area Land Profile

The municipality of Naujan, with total land area of 52,804.15 hectares, is located at the center of the eastern plains of the province of Oriental Mindoro. It is bounded on the north by Calapan City, on the northwest by the municipality of Baco, on the east by part of the Verde Island Passage and the Tablas Strait, on the south by the town of Victoria, on the southeast by the town of Pola and on the southwest by the town of Sablayan, province of Occidental Mindoro.

The topography of the municipality of Naujan is generally broad plain with rugged mountains. The most prominent mountains are Mount Naujan with an elevation of 425 meters, Mount Tinangisan with 308 meters and Dome Hill with 258 meters. About 66 percent of the municipality has level to nearly level lands (0-3 percent slope). Five soil series comprise the municipality which includes, Calumpang, San Manuel, Luisiana, Bulaoen, and Buguey soil series.

Naujan is also the largest municipality in Oriental Mindoro in terms of land area, accounting for 12 percent of the province's total land area.

The Provincial Physical Framework Plan (PPFP) of Oriental Mindoro has identified Naujan as ideal for eco-tourism development. Furthermore, the 1997 Regional Tourism Master Plan for Southern Tagalog recommended the development of various tourist attractions in Naujan in the medium-term. These include Naujan Lake, Naujan Bird Sanctuary, Baluarte in Lumang Bayan, Simbahang Bato, Banilad Beach, and Bongol Beach.

There are two Mangyan ethnolinguistic groups residing in some parts of the municipality. These are the Alangan and the Tadyawan tribes. The Alangan Mangyans are concentrated in the five upland barangays of Balite, Banuton, Caburo, Magtibay and Paitan. On the other hand, the Tadyawan Mangyans are mostly dispersed in the coastal barangays of Bayani, Herrera, Masaguing, in the Upland barangay of Malvar, as well as the other barangays of the municipality.

Agricultural Productivity

Naujan has the most significant agricultural production area in Oriental Mindoro. It is even one of the major food suppliers of CALABARZON. As of 2000, 54.94 percent (29,009 hectares) of Naujan's total area of about 52,804.15 hectares was devoted to agriculture. About 25.77 percent of these agricultural lands were devoted to rice farming. Naujan remains as the province’s top producer of rice with a total production of 52,845.19 metric tons in 1999. The municipality accounted for 54.9 percent of the total produce of Oriental Mindoro. There is also high corn production. The primary industrial crops being produced in Naujan are coconut, coffee and cacao. Other permanent crops include calamansi, banana and other fruits and rootcrops.

Agriculture has remained as the dominant land use activity in the municipality. The total land used for agriculture purposes increased by six percent from 1983 to 1990. Other major land uses include forest and grassland with the latter showing considerable increase since 1983.

The Naujan Lake National Park

The municipality also takes pride of Naujan Lake, the largest fresh water lake in the province. It has a total area of 14,163 hectares. This large fresh water lake, which still has excellent water quality, has a number of distinctive characteristics: it is ecologically sensitive and varied, both in relation to the water area of the Lake and the surrounding wetlands and hill slope areas; the visual environment of the Lake and its surroundings, particularly the surrounding hill, is a high quality landscape; it is ecologically diverse; it is a feeding area for migratory birds; it is home to a wide variety of fish, including migratory species such as the breeding Bangus. The Lake also abounds with fresh water fishes such as simbad, sabalo, banak, managat, langaray, and igat; and it is home to a rare crocodile species (Crocodylus Mindorensis).

The key to the diversity and productivity of the Lake is the western portion encompassing the extensive perimeter wetlands. The maintenance of the wetlands is essential to ensure biodiversity. The Lake and its surroundings have been appropriately designated as a National Park.

Environmental Risk of Mining

One of the key concerns also addressed in the Naujan Comprehensive Land Use Plan is water safety. Tailings of quarrying and mining operations in the upland area pose as a major environmental threat. Coupled with illegal logging, encroachment along the waterways and siltation, these activities greatly compromise the quality of water sources unless mitigating measures are in place.

Two active fault lines traverse the municipality of Naujan: the Aglubang River Fault and the Central Mindoro Fault. It is likewise frequently visited by typhoons particularly during rainy seasons. During heavy rains, practically all rivers and tributaries overflow to the lower areas and cause floods and damage to crops and properties. Erosion of vast tracts of land occurs at times.

Several rivers and streams cut across the broad plain of Naujan. The longest is the Mag-Asawang Tubig, which is about 95 kilometers and traverses from San Andres, flowing towards the coast on the northeastern side into San Antonio and Estrella Bay. Other prominent rivers include the Catuiran River (Bagto) and Bucayao River. It also takes pride of Naujan Lake, the largest fresh water lake in the province with a total area of 14,163 hectares.

The municipality is also a natural flood hazard. Floodplain areas of the municipality cover 32 barangays. It is frequently visited by typhoons particularly during rainy seasons. During heavy rains, practically all rivers and tributaries overflow to the lower areas and cause floods and damage to crops and properties. Erosion of vast tracts of land occurs at times. The most destructive of these rivers is the Mag-Asawang Tubig.

Floods in these areas are due to run-off accumulation coming from surrounding elevated areas, their low physiographic positions, poor infiltration, permeability characteristics and drainability of outlets.





MUNICIPALITY OF SOCORRO

Area Profile:

The Municipality of Socorro is situated in the middle of the province. With a total land area of 19,273.07 hectares, it is 60 kilometers away from the capital city of Calapan and can be reached from this point within two hours of travel from the city. Situated in the middle of the province, it is bounded on the north by Naujan Lake and the Municipality of Victoria; on the east by Muncipality of Pola; on the south by the Municipality of Pinamalayan and on the west by the boundary of Occidental Mindoro.

Socorro is basically an agricultural municipality. A total of 15,318.41 hectares or 6.55% is devoted on agriculture. Socorro is also considered as a food basket of the province, having been a major source of agricultural crops, such as rice, mango, peanut, vegetables, fruits, rootcrops, root vegetables, coconut, calamansi, citrus, banana, lanzones and rambutan.

A major portion of the entire municipality is comprised of lowland valleys which are best suited for the growth of cereals such as legumes and palay. The terrain that extends from the southeastern portion of the locality running towards the western direction up to the boundary separating Oriental and Occidental is quite high and good for grazing. The townland portion is composed of arable lands and grasslands with some swampy areas. There is brackish water which is ideal for fishpond purposes.

In the 2000 Census, the municipality of Socorro registered a total population of 37,176 distributed over 26 barangays. This figure represents a 9% increase from the 1995 population of 34,182. The population growth of Socorro shows a decreasing trend since 1970 with its lowest from 1995-2000 registering only a 1.82 growth rate.

Agricultural Development

Socorro is also considered as a food basket of the Province of Oriental Mindoro, having been a major source of agricultural crops, such as rice, mango, peanut, vegetables, fruits, rootcrops, root vegetables, coconut, calamansi, citrus, banana, lanzones and rambutan.

Agriculture continues to play an important role in the economy of Socorro. A total of 15,318.41 hectares or 6.55% is devoted on agriculture. Socorro’s ricelands consist of 1715 hectares of irrigated Riceland; 400 hectares rainfed; and 10 hectares upland rice production areas. Irrigated ricelands yield an average of 5.0 MT per hectare annually. Rainfed or unirrigated areas produce an average of 3.65 MT per hectare per annum. Rice production for 2003 has totaled to 10.255 MT, which generated an annual gross value of P184,459,000.00

Considering the standard per capita food requirement of 124 kgs. In rice consumption, Socorro with its 2000 population of 37,176, will consume 4,398,900 kgs of rice (4,398.9 MT), equivalent to 87,978 cavans or 15% of its annual rice produce, leaving an excess of about 491,145.88 cavans.

For other agricultural crops, banana is harvested at an average of 44,000 pieces per hectare. Last year, 50,000 pieces were harvested per hectare. On a per tree basis for permanent crops as of last year, cacao is harvested at 20 pieces per tree; citrus at 4.5 tiklis per tree; coffee at 15 kgs per tree; calamansi at 50 kgs per tree; lanzones and rambutan at 200 and 350 kgs. copra per hectare or 4.2 tons per hectare copra. Mangoes depending upon variety were harvested at 30 and 50 kaing per tree, Indian mangoes are harvested at an average of 8.5 sacks.

Crops production is constrained by insufficient farm to market roads, insufficient power supply, and poor maintenance of roads, insufficient water distribution and insufficient market for agricultural products.

Socorro could optimize the existence of fertile land and climate suited for agriculture, skilled labor force, sufficient water source, abundant production of fruits, thriving tourism industry due to the presence of Naujan Lake, the agriculture thrusts of the national government, among others.

Environmental Constraints:

The municipality has five (5) environmentally critical areas enumerated as follows: the flood prone barangays of Pasi I, Pasi II, Batong Dalig, portion of Matungao, part of Subaan, part of Malugay, part of Lapog, Bayuin, Calubayan, part of Villareal, Bagsok, Calocmoy, Pobalcion, Catiningan, Fortuna, Leuteboro II, Leuteboro I; and the severe erosion prone barangays of Fortuna, part of Monteverde, part of Happy Valley, and part of Ma. Concepcion.

Flooding in Socorro occurs once in every five (5) years. It is attributed mainly from the overflowing of Pula River and Naujan Lake and is affecting the following low-lying areas: Leuteboro I, part of Leuteboro II, Catiningan, Poblacion, Calocmoy, Bagsok, part of Villareal, Clubayan, Malugay, Matungao, Pasi I, Pasi II, Fortuna, Lapog and Bayuin.

Flooding in these areas is compounded by shallow silted Pula River, obstructed river channels due to household waste along the riverbanks, denuded forest cover in the hilly areas of Bugtong na Tuog, Fortuna and Ma. Concepcion, depleted natural plant barriers along the riverbanks, illegal logging in Fortuna, Bugtong na Tuog, Calubayan and Ma. Concepcion.

Water seepage as a result of flooding further leads to the contamination of water supply that poses risk to public health.

Among the identified environmental programs are flood protection and mitigation and reforestation.





MUNICIPALITY OF POLA

Geographical Location/ Topography

Pola is the second smallest municipality in Oriental Mindoro having a total land area of 14,084.64 hectares. It lies in the eastern portion of the province and is about 70 kilometers from Calapan, the provincial capital. It is bounded in the north by the municipality of Naujan, in the south by Pinamalayan, in the east by Pola Bay and in the west by the Municipality of Socorro. The municipality is situated on verdant rolling hills and mountainous ranges with only one – fifth of its area located in the lowlands.

About 37.64 percent of the municipality is level to nearly level (slope of 0 to 3 percent) and is comprised of Barangays Bayanan, Batuhan, Bacungan, Campamento, Casiligan, Maluanluan, Malibago, Panikihan, portion of Barangays Biga, Pula and Poblacion.

About 0.76 percent of the total land area is gently sloping to undulating lands (3-8 percent slope). The areas with 0 to 8 percent slope, which account for a total land area of about 5,409.22 hectares, are generally not susceptible to erosion and may accommodate intensive agriculture or high density urban development.

Sloping to undulating lands (8 to 18 percent slope) are quite susceptible to erosion. Barangays Calubasanhon, Matulatula and Tagbakin are partly covered by this slope range. Pasture and limited agricultural activity may be recommended.

The rolling to moderately steep (18 to 30 percent slope) to very steep (greater than 50 percent) areas are highly susceptible to erosion. These areas can be found in Barangays Bacawan, Buhay na Tubig, Biga, Campamento and part of Calima.

Agricultural Crop Production

Of Pola's total land area of 14,084.64 hectares, 97.25 percent is devoted to agriculture. Coconut is the major agricultural crop, occupying 6,858.40 hectares distributed in all barangays. Rice is the second predominant crop in 14 barangays. There are 520 hectares of irrigated rice planted by 484 farmers in 11 barangays and 90 hectares of rainfed rice planted by 90 farmers in three barangays. The municipality is also a major producer of banana, citrus and rambutan. Other crops include coffee, fruit trees and vegetables. Table 4.3 shows the area coverage and average production of major agricultural crops in 1999.

About 85 percent of the total rice area of Pola is irrigated while 15 percent are rainfed.

For the same year, Pola produced 4,392 metric tons of palay that is equivalent to 1.39 percent of the total palay produced in Oriental Mindoro. Rice production performance is far from satisfactory with an average producivity of three mt/ha for rainfed areas and 3.25 mt/ha for irrigated areas, a record lower than the national average of 3.5 mt/ha. There are five major rice producing barangays (>60 has) Maluanluan, Casiligan, Biga, Pula, and Panikihan, representing 70 percent of the total irrigated areas.

Pola's volume of rice production was not sufficient to meet the consumption requirement of its population. In 1999, around 1,420 metric tons were estimated to be the rice deficit of the municipality

Environmental Key Issues

Based on the existing environmental conditions of the municipality, the identified key issues and concerns are: 1) Forest Denudation on several portions along hilly areas of Barangays Calima, Bacawan and Buhay na Tubig; 2) Coastal Zone Degradation involving coastal erosion and siltation and damage to coral reefs; 3) Naujan Lake Management to protect the area due to increasing population, man-made illegal activities/practices, agricultural run-off and commercialization in the surrounding area of the Lake; 4) Flooding during heavy rains and high tides in Barangays Casiligan, Maluanluan, Bacungan, Pula, Malibago and part of Panikihan due to lack of river control and breakwater for Pula and Casiligan Rivers; 5) Erosion/River Siltation especially in the rivers of Barangays Calima and Tagumpay and 6) Solid Waste particularly the location of the existing dumpsite that is very close to the urban area.

Pola, like its neighboring municipalities, is visited by typhoons particularly during rainy seasons. During heavy rains, rivers and tributaries overflow to the lower areas and cause floods that damage crops and properties.

As a consequence of forest degradation, river siltation occurs due to increased surface run-off because of reduced infiltration in the upper catchment areas. Thus, less water emerges from springs during the dry season and the base flow of rivers is reduced. Riverbeds are choked with sediments, increasing the tendency of floods.

There is a need to undertake river protection and management measures to reduce, if not totally eliminate, the cases of erosion and sedimentation in the municipality. In addition, a watershed management study needs to be undertaken, particularly in Pola River, to determine the required management and protection measures.





CITY OF CALAPAN

AREA PROFILE:

Calapan City has total land area of 250.06 square kilometers or 25,006 hectares including the three (3) Baco Islets and two (2) Silonay Islets.

The City is situated on the vast northeastern floodplain of Oriental Mindoro. The overall land character is that of a wide plain having meandering rivers interpersed with wetlands at the seacoast border.

There are two identified faultlines that border Calapan City. These are the Lubang Fault at the north of Baco Grande Island which follows an east-west axis and the Central Mindoro Fault at the west following a north-south axis, and the Aglubang River Fault, which is a branch of the Central Mindoro Fault, that traverses the western part of the City and follows a north-south axis. The movement of the Aglubang River Fault in 1994 caused several areas in the City to be affected by liquefaction

Calapan City is characterized physically by its lowlands which can be best described as a broad flatland. The city has such a low elevation that flooding is a major concern especially during the occurrence of heavy rains. The city is naturally flood-prone and is constantly being threatened by heavy rains or adverse weather conditions.

Two major river systems pass through the City coming from the mountain range: the Bucayao (Pulang Tubig) River System that passes through the southern part and exits to the southeast, and the Biga-Baco-Malaylay River System that passes through the City”s southwestern and western parts before exiting into Calapan Bay. These two river systems, including the Aglubang-Magasawang Tubig River System, built the alluvial plains of northeastern Mindoro.

The economy of the city is mainly agricultural-based and service-oriented. Agricultural activities include crop production, fishing, and livestock and poultry production. Major agricultural crops produced in the city include palay, coconut, banana, and calamansi. About 13,590 hectares of the city’s total land area are devoted to palay production. Considered as the rice granary of the Southern Tagalog region, Calapan supplies rice to several areas including Metro Manila.

Calapan City also has a vast sea water which provide a rich fish catch. The main sea fishing grounds are Calapan Bay and Silonay Bay. Municipal fishery serves as a major source of livelihood for the 21 coastal barangays and some 1,067 fishermen. The coastlines of Calapan serve as fishing grounds and are used for shallow fishing.

Although the city is largely agricultural, it is also the business hub of the province. The central business district features a large number of business establishments, most of which are on wholesale and retail trade as well as services. The rest of the establishments are mainly oriented towards private services and small-scale manufacturing such as ricemills, eateries/restaurants, machine shops, and lending investors.

CALAPAN AND DEVELOPMENT THRUST:

Goals for the economic development of the city are anchored on the improvement of the farming and fisheries sector. The city aims to develop self-reliant farming and fishing communities and to increase agricultural productivity.

The city's CLUP specifically states that the development path of Calapan should set a balance between the need to generate economic opportunities, preserve the city’s natural environment, and enhance the quality of life of the locality. It specifically provides for health and safety, and providing for adequate safeguards that prevent conditions injurious or hazardous to the physical well-being of Calapeños.

It also explicitly states the preservation of existing structure and cultural heritage - maintaining Calapan's cultural heritage and respecting existing social structures and settlements. It strives to minimize possible dislocation of individuals and groups. It also envisions a development path rooted in a respect for both the natural environment and human nature. The City strongly advocates a land use plan that will support and complement - not interfere with - nature, and avoid ecological disasters. Most especially, the physical framework of the city is characterized by a management where conservation of habitat, recreation, scenery, and community watersheds is a priority.

Meanwhile, the tourism subsector presents enormous potentials for the city to capture different tourism market segments and thus increase tourism receipts in the city. The city offers varied tourist attractions such as beach resorts, nature sightseeing tours, cultural and religious festivals, and special interests, such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and boating.

Eco-tourism is one of the major thrusts and holds promise for Calapan City as it particularly conforms to several of the criteria set by the Department of Tourism in declaring an area as an eco-tourism destination, such as:

a) rich in natural attractions and conducive to adventure travel;

b) environmentally rich in flora and fauna;

c) native and tribal traditions of the people in the destination are almost untouched by modern influences (e.g., Mangyans); and

d) area is not frequented by commercial tourists.

Eco-tourism, by Calapan City definition, necessitates a type of tourism that is environmentally, culturally, and socially aware. This is aimed to further enhance the natural and cultural diversity of the city.

Moreover, the city's development is envisioned to must be closely knit with environmental concerns. This especially holds true for the city that is located in an environmentally sensitive area. The city's development must be closely anchored to environmental conservation and management in order to ensure that this will be sustained in the long run.

PLANNING FRAMEWORK FOR LAND DEVELOPMENT AND REDEVELOPMENT IN CALAPAN

The consensus arrived at during the Visioning Workshop held on 09 November 1998 and which was confirmed and set out in detail during the 17 December 1998 Planning Workshop indicated that the people of Calapan envision a development path rooted in a respect for both the natural environment and human nature. Specifically, the participants wanted a land use plan that:

Places a high value on quality of life. The participants strongly espoused that land in Calapan is first and foremost for people and that the primary objective of the planning and development process is to improve the quality of life of its residents, socially, economically, psychologically, and spiritually. The designed policies of the plan seek to achieve quality of life in a fair, open, and democratic manner.

Respects the natural environment. The participants recognized the city's relationship to nature and sees nature's systems and components as essential to its well-being. The participants understand the sensitive interface between the natural and built environment and strongly advocate a land use plan that will support and complement --- not interfere with --- nature, and avoid ecological disasters.

Optimizes essential resources. The comprehensive land use planning process is rooted in an inventory of the Calapan's human, natural, and economic resources and appreciate their finite quality. Effective implementation of the land use plan ensures that forests are not overused, people are not underemployed, and the places of the built environment are not stagnant and empty.

Recognize the limits of scale and capacity. The land use planning process recognizes the optimum scale and capacity with regard to the natural and human environment. It seeks to ensure that the environment is not overdeveloped, overbuilt, overused, or overpopulated. It recognizes the signs of tension that indicate when the environment is overstressed and can adjust its demands on the environment, to avoid pollution, natural disaster, and social disintegration.

Adopts a systems approach. The participants understand that the natural and human environments make up a holistic system, comprising individual components that interrelate and affect the whole. Beaches are a part of coastal systems, families are a part of social networks, particulate and currents are a part of air systems, and jeepney routes and sea-lanes are parts of transportation networks. The city's land use plan attempts to maintain harmony and balance within the environment.

Values diversity. The participants understand that a cross section of the human and natural environment reveals one constant --- diversity. Human diversity and biodiversity are essential to a thriving socially dynamic web of life. For Calapan to be sustainable, the city's land use plan will not segregate or segment populations or elements of nature but integrates them into the fabric of the community.

MUNICIPALITY OF PINAMALAYAN

Municipal Profile:

The Municipality of Pinamalayan, which has a total land area of 27,800 has., lies almost at the center of the Province of Oriental Mindoro. It is about 118 kilometers from the Municipality of Puerto Galera and 120 kilometers from the town of Bulalacao, the last town of the province going to the south. Situated along the coastline tip, it resembles a hand pointing towards the island of Marinduque. It is bounded in the north by the Municipalities of Socorro and Pola; in the west by the Province of Occidental Mindoro; in the east by Tablas Strait and in the south by Quinabigan River and the Municipality of Gloria.
Pinamalayan is a mainly a fishing municipality, and primarily concerned with protecting and preserving its municipal waters. The river system in the municipality of Pinamalayan flows to the Pula River and drains to Tablas Strait. This coastal area along Tablas Strait is primarily the fishing ground of the municipality.
Pinamalayan, like its neighboring municipalities, is frequently visited by typhoons particularly during rainy seasons. During heavy rains, practically all rivers and tributaries overflow to the lower areas.
Floods usually occur due to the following reasons: run-off accumulation coming from surrounding elevated areas; their low physiographic positions; poor infiltration; permeability characteristics; and drainability of outlets.
The over-all development direction of the municipality is to emerge as a major food basket and a progressive trading hub of MIMAROPA and the rest of Region IV, with sustainable agriculture, diversified trading activities, enhanced tourism, conserved and protected environment, inhabited by God-centered, empowered and nature- and peace-loving citizenry.
Pinamalayan is one of the identified provincial growth centers and is extremely well positioned to be such. Its highly strategic location, being at the center of the province, augurs well for the development of facilities to service the surrounding municipalities. Current and proposed projects, as identified by several private and government sector plans, further strengthen the municipality’s position as a significant hub. Projects that will accelerate development in the municipality include the establishment of a Convention Center as stipulated in the Southern Tagalog Tourism Master Plan, improvement of the airport in Pambisan Munti, proposed direct link to Manila via the Supercat, etc.
The vast land resources of Pinamalayan serve as its primary strength as these are highly suitable for agricultural production. Large areas are presently devoted to the production of major economic crops such as rice, banana, coconut, vegetables and fruit trees. The municipality has formulated concrete agricultural programs and projects that are being implemented by its highly competent and committed agricultural personnel. One of the major visible impacts of these strengths was attaining the highest rice productivity among all rice producing towns in the province. Also, it has a highly successful hog and cattle dispersal program. Its large pasture area can, in turn, be exploited to support the development of a commercial livestock industry not to mention the abundance of raw materials that can be used as feed ingredients.
Other comparative advantages include a rich marine fishing ground off Tablas Strait, large and developed brackishwater fishpond areas, abundance of milkish and prawn fry and fingerlings in the wild, and the growing number of tilapia fishpond areas because of its acceptability as alternative enterprise and protein source.

Pinamalayan and the Mining Project:

Crew Gold’s conduct of a feasibility study on Nickel and Cobalt Mining, targeting Barangay Pili as the site of a Processing Plant, which will use Submarine Tailings Disposal (STD) method is a contentious issue among Pinamalayeños. The municipality says that “a critical review of the proposed scheme should be given attention, since the environmental impacts of mining operations are considered irreversible and would cause alteration of the present land use and the potential degradation of marine water quality and marine ecosystem.”
The Development Framework of Pinamalayan clearly states that “the establishment of mining-related activities in the municipality poses a major threat to the environment and may have an adverse impact on the development of its tourist potentials. Policies aimed for the protection and conservation of the environment shall be put in place.”
Its economic development plan is also anchored on the strengthening of agricultural production, promotion of small and medium enterprises, and harnessing of tourism potentials, including developing the coastal barangays Pili, Banilad, Ranzo and Sabang to host tourism-related establishments in the municipality.
It also wants to ensure sustainable utilization of natural resources. There is also strong emphasis in the protection and rehabilitation of forest cover and watersheds, mangroves and coral reefs, while promoting environment-friendly development initiatives such as eco-tourism.
Pinamalayan Municipal Fisheries
There are 401 fisher folks in the municipality, most of them residing along the nine coastal barangays (refer to Table 4.10). As of 1999, the Municipal Agriculturist’s Office (MAO) has conducted nine Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (FARMC) classes in the nine coastal barangays. The MAO has also conducted orientations regarding RA 8550 or the Fisheries Code.
Table 4.10 Registered Fisher Folks Along the Coastal Barangays, 2000
Barangay Number
1. Quinabigan 37
2. Papandayan 57
3. Zone I 47
4. Wawa 95
5. Lumambayan 34
6. Guinhawa 5
7. Pili 51
8. Banilad 37
9. Ranzo 38
Total 401

Source: Municipal Agriculturist’s Office


Municipal fishing is carried out by motorized and non-motorized fishing boats. The average amounts of fish caught per day per type of boat are three kilograms and one kilogram, respectively. Commercial vessels on the other hand, average 70 kgs. per day (refer to Table 4.11).

Table 4.11 Inventory of Fishing Boats, 2000
Type Number Average Fish Caught/day
Municipal Fishing Boat (less than 3 tons)
Motorized 331 3 kgs.
Non-motorized 198 1 kg.
Commercial ( 3 tons and above) 4 70 kgs.
Source: Municipal Agriculturist’s Office

The average yield in 1999 was set at 350 tons of fish.

Overall Development Direction

Development Vision:

By 2010, Pinamalayan shall emerge as a major food basket and a progressive trading hub of MIMAROPA and the rest of Region IV, with sustainable agriculture, diversified trading activities, enhanced tourism, conserved and protected environment, inhabited by God-centered, empowered and nature- and peace- loving citizens.

Mission Statement
The mission statement represents the municipality’s distinctive and continuing activity within the plan period in order to attain its vision. A two-pronged mission statement was formulated during a multi-sectoral workshop. This is concisely stated as:

“To strengthen agricultural production in order to meet the market demands of MIMAROPA and the rest of Region IV while continually exploring alternative sources of livelihood through diversification of trade, industry and tourism carried out in a manner that respects the need to protect the environment and promotes people-centered growth.”













MUNICIPALITY OF VICTORIA:
Area Profile
The Municipality of Victoria is only 34 kilometers, about half an hour travel, from Calapan City, the provincial capital of Oriental Mindoro. Victoria covers a total land area of 29,185 hectares, 11,373 hectares or 39% of which are classified as forest land. Of the forestland, 10,373 hectares are categorized as forest reserve and some 584 hectares are protected forest covering the land portion of the Naujan Lake National Park which is within the jurisdiction of the municipality. Table 1 shows the data on land classification status in Victoria
The economic base of the municipality is basically agricultural. Victoria is also known to be the “Fruit Basket” of Oriental Mindoro, boasting of having a very high fruit production percentage at 77% of its total agricultural production. Some of its barangays rely on fishery production as they are situated along the Naujan Lake.

Economic development programs of the municipality focus on increase of agricultural and fisheries production. Tourism development includes Naujan Lake Preservation and Development, with emphasis on the environmental and biodiversity significance of the lake. The Naujan Lake National Park is an established protected area under the National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS).

Victoria and the Mining Project
In terms of land area, the biggest barangay, a great portion of which are forestlands is Villa Cerveza with a total land area of 10,989.7 hectares. Two thousand two hundred ninety (2,290) hectares of Brgy. Villa Cerveza comprise a portion of the Mindoro Nickel Project which has a total area of 9,720 has.

In terms of regulatory status, the following falls within certain portion of the municipality: a) Exploration Permit (EP-IVB-04) issued to MINDEX (originally covering a total of 9,720 hectares covering the Municipalities of Victoria, Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro) covering approximately 2,213 hectares within Victoria; b) a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim of the Tadyawan, Mangyan tribe, RO4-CADC 085 issued on June 23, 1997 covering a total of 12,000 hectares and covers part of both Socorro and Victoria.

The whole Province of Oriental Mindoro is interspersed with important watershed and the Municipality of Victoria is no exception. Located on the western side of Victoria is the Mag-asawang Tubig watershed. This particular watershed is being fed by the Mag-asawang Tubig River which joins the Ibulo River and Aglubang River as it travel southward into the Municipality of Sablayan in the neighboring Occidental Mindoro province. This Mag-asawang Tubig watershed, while not a proclaimed watershed area, is very important not only to the Municipality of Victoria but also to the neighboring municipalities considering that it supports 40,000 hectares of irrigated rice fields within these municipalities by ensuring continuous supply of water. The said watershed area covers extensive part of Villa Cerveza, Alcate and Loyal.

Under Environmental Management section of its Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the vision for the environment sector is as follows: “Malinis na tubig, makahoy na kabundukan, luntiang kapaligiran at nakikisangkot na mamamayan sa pagtahak sa landas ng pangmatagalang kaunlaran.”

Taking this vision into account, the municipality of Victoria aims to conserve, protect and rehabilitate the remaining natural resources within the municipality, in particular, patches of second growth forest and watershed area found in upland areas and dwindling fishery resources.

This objective is aimed towards the institution of conservation, protection and rehabilitation efforts in areas where there are still evident presence of natural resources, particularly the patches of second growth forest that are still found in upland barangays such as Villa Cerveza.

Environmental Threats of the Mindoro Nickel Project:

It should also be seriously considered that a Geohazard Assessment Project is included in the municipal plan to survey and assess geohazard potential taking into account the fact that the island of Mindoro, particularly the western flank of Victoria is being traversed by the Mindoro and Aglubang fault lines. This side of Victoria includes Alcate, Bagong Buhay, Antonino, Bagong Silang, Loyal and Villa Cerveza, the proposed mine site.

The presence of MINDEX/Crew/Aglubang Mining and the perceived environmental threats as a consequence of mining is also specifically stated under the Environmental Key Issues and Concerns section of the Municipal CLUP.

The Mindoro Resources Development, Inc. (MINDEX) has been undertaking mineral exploration activities in Victoria, in particular for nickel laterite/cobalt deposits. It was issued an exploratory permit in March 1997 and the same was renewed in March, 1999. In the same year, MINDEX was bought out by Crew Minerals. In December 7, 2000, a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) was issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to the Aglubang Mining, a subsidiary of Crew Minerals.

Even before the recent issuance of the MPSA and during the start of exploratory activities of the then MINDEX, the citizens of Victoria, in particular and the whole of Oriental Mindoro, in general have continuously expressed vehement and strong objections to the proposed mining operation in view of the following perceived environmental hazards and adverse environmental impacts:

• The mining area falls within the Aglubang Watershed, an important watershed as identified and reflected in the Provincial Physical Framework Plan. The Aglubang River and the Mag-asawang River, which are most likely to be affected by the mining operations are the same water sources that supply water to the 40,000 irrigated rice fields of Victoria and its neighboring municipalities such as Naujan, and Baco.

• In addition to its unfavorable effect to water quantity, the more adverse impact of mining would be its effect to water quality, especially its likely effects to the quality of both surface and groundwater supply. Victoria draws mostly its domestic water supply from underground sources as evidenced by the abundant springs that can be found within the municipality. The immediate area where mining operations will be undertaken has been described as having shallow to deep well areas , and as such, highly susceptible to groundwater pollution which may emanate from chemicals used in mining and related operations.

• The mining area is located within an area identified to be subject of slight to moderate erosion caused by flooding of rivers. It is a fact that mining operations are likely to cause erosion as well as increase sediment loading of nearby rivers. At present, Mag-asawang Tubig River has caused severe flooding of the nearby low-lying areas during rainy season. An increase in soil erosion as well as sediment loading brought about by mining operations nearby is likely to aggravate flooding within the area. Considering the fact that Victoria having Type IV climate with no pronounced dry or wet season, mining operations in the area may further intensify the flooding incidence.

• The mining operations may endanger the freshwater resources and biodiversity of nearby area like Naujan Lake considering the proposed disposal of mine tailings and waste is passing through Victoria through pipes into Tablas Strait off Pinamalayan Bay using the process called submarine tailings disposal.

• The mining area is situated very near the Central Mindoro Fault Line. As such, it is highly susceptible to geological hazards like ground rupturing, landslide and liquefaction, which in turn may cause adverse environmental impact and may further cause damage to life and properties of nearby barangays. Pressure along the fault line may cause intense rock deformation making the area prone to surface erosion and mass wasting.

• The mining operation may entail clearing of vegetation to give way to huge excavation and earthworks. In essence, this will cause decrease in forest cover, which in turn, will affect biodiversity within the area. It should be noted that the whole island of Mindoro, and for that matter the remaining forested portion of Victoria, is considered home to different flora and fauna and therefore, an important gene pool which needs to be conserve and protected at all times. Thus, extractive activities such as mining operation will likely affect the integrity of the area and the local ecosystem.

• Continued mining operations will possibly increase the risk of degradation of agriculturally productive land located downstream due to soil disturbance and erosion.



























MUNICIPALITY OF NAUJAN
Area Land Profile
The municipality of Naujan, with total land area of 52,804.15 hectares, is located at the center of the eastern plains of the province of Oriental Mindoro. It is bounded on the north by Calapan City, on the northwest by the municipality of Baco, on the east by part of the Verde Island Passage and the Tablas Strait, on the south by the town of Victoria, on the southeast by the town of Pola and on the southwest by the town of Sablayan, province of Occidental Mindoro.
The topography of the municipality of Naujan is generally broad plain with rugged mountains. The most prominent mountains are Mount Naujan with an elevation of 425 meters, Mount Tinangisan with 308 meters and Dome Hill with 258 meters. About 66 percent of the municipality has level to nearly level lands (0-3 percent slope). Five soil series comprise the municipality which includes, Calumpang, San Manuel, Luisiana, Bulaoen, and Buguey soil series.
Naujan is also the largest municipality in Oriental Mindoro in terms of land area, accounting for 12 percent of the province’s total land area.
The Provincial Physical Framework Plan (PPFP) of Oriental Mindoro has identified Naujan as ideal for eco-tourism development. Furthermore, the 1997 Regional Tourism Master Plan for Southern Tagalog recommended the development of various tourist attractions in Naujan in the medium-term. These include Naujan Lake, Naujan Bird Sanctuary, Baluarte in Lumang Bayan, Simbahang Bato, Banilad Beach, and Bongol Beach.
There are two Mangyan ethnolinguistic groups residing in some parts of the municipality. These are the Alangan and the Tadyawan tribes. The Alangan Mangyans are concentrated in the five upland barangays of Balite, Banuton, Caburo, Magtibay and Paitan. On the other hand, the Tadyawan Mangyans are mostly dispersed in the coastal barangays of Bayani, Herrera, Masaguing, in the Upland barangay of Malvar, as well as the other barangays of the municipality.

Agricultural Productivity

Naujan has the most significant agricultural production area in Oriental Mindoro. It is even one of the major food suppliers of CALABARZON. As of 2000, 54.94 percent (29,009 hectares) of Naujan's total area of about 52,804.15 hectares was devoted to agriculture. About 25.77 percent of these agricultural lands were devoted to rice farming. Naujan remains as the province’s top producer of rice with a total production of 52,845.19 metric tons in 1999. The municipality accounted for 54.9 percent of the total produce of Oriental Mindoro. There is also high corn production. The primary industrial crops being produced in Naujan are coconut, coffee and cacao. Other permanent crops include calamansi, banana and other fruits and rootcrops.
Agriculture has remained as the dominant land use activity in the municipality. The total land used for agriculture purposes increased by six percent from 1983 to 1990. Other major land uses include forest and grassland with the latter showing considerable increase since 1983.

The Naujan Lake National Park

The municipality also takes pride of Naujan Lake, the largest fresh water lake in the province. It has a total area of 14,163 hectares. This large fresh water lake, which still has excellent water quality, has a number of distinctive characteristics: it is ecologically sensitive and varied, both in relation to the water area of the Lake and the surrounding wetlands and hill slope areas; the visual environment of the Lake and its surroundings, particularly the surrounding hill, is a high quality landscape; it is ecologically diverse; it is a feeding area for migratory birds; it is home to a wide variety of fish, including migratory species such as the breeding Bangus. The Lake also abounds with fresh water fishes such as simbad, sabalo, banak, managat, langaray, and igat; and it is home to a rare crocodile species (Crocodylus Mindorensis).

The key to the diversity and productivity of the Lake is the western portion encompassing the extensive perimeter wetlands. The maintenance of the wetlands is essential to ensure biodiversity. The Lake and its surroundings have been appropriately designated as a National Park.

Environmental Risk of Mining
One of the key concerns also addressed in the Naujan Comprehensive Land Use Plan is water safety. Tailings of quarrying and mining operations in the upland area pose as a major environmental threat. Coupled with illegal logging, encroachment along the waterways and siltation, these activities greatly compromise the quality of water sources unless mitigating measures are in place.

Two active fault lines traverse the municipality of Naujan: the Aglubang River Fault and the Central Mindoro Fault. It is likewise frequently visited by typhoons particularly during rainy seasons. During heavy rains, practically all rivers and tributaries overflow to the lower areas and cause floods and damage to crops and properties. Erosion of vast tracts of land occurs at times.

Several rivers and streams cut across the broad plain of Naujan. The longest is the Mag-Asawang Tubig, which is about 95 kilometers and traverses from San Andres, flowing towards the coast on the northeastern side into San Antonio and Estrella Bay. Other prominent rivers include the Catuiran River (Bagto) and Bucayao River. It also takes pride of Naujan Lake, the largest fresh water lake in the province with a total area of 14,163 hectares.

The municipality is also a natural flood hazard. Floodplain areas of the municipality cover 32 barangays. It is frequently visited by typhoons particularly during rainy seasons. During heavy rains, practically all rivers and tributaries overflow to the lower areas and cause floods and damage to crops and properties. Erosion of vast tracts of land occurs at times. The most destructive of these rivers is the Mag-Asawang Tubig.

Floods in these areas are due to run-off accumulation coming from surrounding elevated areas, their low physiographic positions, poor infiltration, permeability characteristics and drainability of outlets.
















MUNICIPALITY OF SOCORRO

Area Profile:

The Municipality of Socorro is situated in the middle of the province. With a total land area of 19,273.07 hectares, it is 60 kilometers away from the capital city of Calapan and can be reached from this point within two hours of travel from the city. Situated in the middle of the province, it is bounded on the north by Naujan Lake and the Municipality of Victoria; on the east by Muncipality of Pola; on the south by the Municipality of Pinamalayan and on the west by the boundary of Occidental Mindoro.

Socorro is basically an agricultural municipality. A total of 15,318.41 hectares or 6.55% is devoted on agriculture. Socorro is also considered as a food basket of the province, having been a major source of agricultural crops, such as rice, mango, peanut, vegetables, fruits, rootcrops, root vegetables, coconut, calamansi, citrus, banana, lanzones and rambutan.

A major portion of the entire municipality is comprised of lowland valleys which are best suited for the growth of cereals such as legumes and palay. The terrain that extends from the southeastern portion of the locality running towards the western direction up to the boundary separating Oriental and Occidental is quite high and good for grazing. The townland portion is composed of arable lands and grasslands with some swampy areas. There is brackish water which is ideal for fishpond purposes.

In the 2000 Census, the municipality of Socorro registered a total population of 37,176 distributed over 26 barangays. This figure represents a 9% increase from the 1995 population of 34,182. The population growth of Socorro shows a decreasing trend since 1970 with its lowest from 1995-2000 registering only a 1.82 growth rate.

Agricultural Development

Socorro is also considered as a food basket of the Province of Oriental Mindoro, having been a major source of agricultural crops, such as rice, mango, peanut, vegetables, fruits, rootcrops, root vegetables, coconut, calamansi, citrus, banana, lanzones and rambutan.

Agriculture continues to play an important role in the economy of Socorro. A total of 15,318.41 hectares or 6.55% is devoted on agriculture. Socorro’s ricelands consist of 1715 hectares of irrigated Riceland; 400 hectares rainfed; and 10 hectares upland rice production areas. Irrigated ricelands yield an average of 5.0 MT per hectare annually. Rainfed or unirrigated areas produce an average of 3.65 MT per hectare per annum. Rice production for 2003 has totaled to 10.255 MT, which generated an annual gross value of P184,459,000.00

Considering the standard per capita food requirement of 124 kgs. In rice consumption, Socorro with its 2000 population of 37,176, will consume 4,398,900 kgs of rice (4,398.9 MT), equivalent to 87,978 cavans or 15% of its annual rice produce, leaving an excess of about 491,145.88 cavans.

For other agricultural crops, banana is harvested at an average of 44,000 pieces per hectare. Last year, 50,000 pieces were harvested per hectare. On a per tree basis for permanent crops as of last year, cacao is harvested at 20 pieces per tree; citrus at 4.5 tiklis per tree; coffee at 15 kgs per tree; calamansi at 50 kgs per tree; lanzones and rambutan at 200 and 350 kgs. copra per hectare or 4.2 tons per hectare copra. Mangoes depending upon variety were harvested at 30 and 50 kaing per tree, Indian mangoes are harvested at an average of 8.5 sacks.

Crops production is constrained by insufficient farm to market roads, insufficient power supply, and poor maintenance of roads, insufficient water distribution and insufficient market for agricultural products.

Socorro could optimize the existence of fertile land and climate suited for agriculture, skilled labor force, sufficient water source, abundant production of fruits, thriving tourism industry due to the presence of Naujan Lake, the agriculture thrusts of the national government, among others.

Environmental Constraints:

The municipality has five (5) environmentally critical areas enumerated as follows: the flood prone barangays of Pasi I, Pasi II, Batong Dalig, portion of Matungao, part of Subaan, part of Malugay, part of Lapog, Bayuin, Calubayan, part of Villareal, Bagsok, Calocmoy, Pobalcion, Catiningan, Fortuna, Leuteboro II, Leuteboro I; and the severe erosion prone barangays of Fortuna, part of Monteverde, part of Happy Valley, and part of Ma. Concepcion.

Flooding in Socorro occurs once in every five (5) years. It is attributed mainly from the overflowing of Pula River and Naujan Lake and is affecting the following low-lying areas: Leuteboro I, part of Leuteboro II, Catiningan, Poblacion, Calocmoy, Bagsok, part of Villareal, Clubayan, Malugay, Matungao, Pasi I, Pasi II, Fortuna, Lapog and Bayuin.

Flooding in these areas is compounded by shallow silted Pula River, obstructed river channels due to household waste along the riverbanks, denuded forest cover in the hilly areas of Bugtong na Tuog, Fortuna and Ma. Concepcion, depleted natural plant barriers along the riverbanks, illegal logging in Fortuna, Bugtong na Tuog, Calubayan and Ma. Concepcion.

Water seepage as a result of flooding further leads to the contamination of water supply that poses risk to public health.

Among the identified environmental programs are flood protection and mitigation and reforestation.















MUNICIPALITY OF POLA


Geographical Location/ Topography

Pola is the second smallest municipality in Oriental Mindoro having a total land area of 14,084.64 hectares. It lies in the eastern portion of the province and is about 70 kilometers from Calapan, the provincial capital. It is bounded in the north by the municipality of Naujan, in the south by Pinamalayan, in the east by Pola Bay and in the west by the Municipality of Socorro. The municipality is situated on verdant rolling hills and mountainous ranges with only one – fifth of its area located in the lowlands.

About 37.64 percent of the municipality is level to nearly level (slope of 0 to 3 percent) and is comprised of Barangays Bayanan, Batuhan, Bacungan, Campamento, Casiligan, Maluanluan, Malibago, Panikihan, portion of Barangays Biga, Pula and Poblacion.

About 0.76 percent of the total land area is gently sloping to undulating lands (3-8 percent slope). The areas with 0 to 8 percent slope, which account for a total land area of about 5,409.22 hectares, are generally not susceptible to erosion and may accommodate intensive agriculture or high density urban development.

Sloping to undulating lands (8 to 18 percent slope) are quite susceptible to erosion. Barangays Calubasanhon, Matulatula and Tagbakin are partly covered by this slope range. Pasture and limited agricultural activity may be recommended.

The rolling to moderately steep (18 to 30 percent slope) to very steep (greater than 50 percent) areas are highly susceptible to erosion. These areas can be found in Barangays Bacawan, Buhay na Tubig, Biga, Campamento and part of Calima.

Agricultural Crop Production

Of Pola’s total land area of 14,084.64 hectares, 97.25 percent is devoted to agriculture. Coconut is the major agricultural crop, occupying 6,858.40 hectares distributed in all barangays. Rice is the second predominant crop in 14 barangays. There are 520 hectares of irrigated rice planted by 484 farmers in 11 barangays and 90 hectares of rainfed rice planted by 90 farmers in three barangays. The municipality is also a major producer of banana, citrus and rambutan. Other crops include coffee, fruit trees and vegetables. Table 4.3 shows the area coverage and average production of major agricultural crops in 1999.

About 85 percent of the total rice area of Pola is irrigated while 15 percent are rainfed. Table 4.4 shows the rice production levels in 1999.

For the same year, Pola produced 4,392 metric tons of palay that is equivalent to 1.39 percent of the total palay produced in Oriental Mindoro. Rice production performance is far from satisfactory with an average producivity of three mt/ha for rainfed areas and 3.25 mt/ha for irrigated areas, a record lower than the national average of 3.5 mt/ha. There are five major rice producing barangays (>60 has) – Maluanluan, Casiligan, Biga, Pula, and Panikihan, representing 70 percent of the total irrigated areas.
Pola’s volume of rice production was not sufficient to meet the consumption requirement of its population. In 1999, around 1,420 metric tons were estimated to be the rice deficit of the municipality




Environmental Key Issues

Based on the existing environmental conditions of the municipality, the identified key issues and concerns are: 1) Forest Denudation on several portions along hilly areas of Barangays Calima, Bacawan and Buhay na Tubig; 2) Coastal Zone Degradation involving coastal erosion and siltation and damage to coral reefs; 3) Naujan Lake Management to protect the area due to increasing population, man-made illegal activities/practices, agricultural run-off and commercialization in the surrounding area of the Lake; 4) Flooding during heavy rains and high tides in Barangays Casiligan, Maluanluan, Bacungan, Pula, Malibago and part of Panikihan due to lack of river control and breakwater for Pula and Casiligan Rivers; 5) Erosion/River Siltation especially in the rivers of Barangays Calima and Tagumpay and 6) Solid Waste particularly the location of the existing dumpsite that is very close to the urban area.

Pola, like its neighboring municipalities, is visited by typhoons particularly during rainy seasons. During heavy rains, rivers and tributaries overflow to the lower areas and cause floods that damage crops and properties.

As a consequence of forest degradation, river siltation occurs due to increased surface run-off because of reduced infiltration in the upper catchment areas. Thus, less water emerges from springs during the dry season and the base flow of rivers is reduced. Riverbeds are choked with sediments, increasing the tendency of floods.

There is a need to undertake river protection and management measures to reduce, if not totally eliminate, the cases of erosion and sedimentation in the municipality. In addition, a watershed management study needs to be undertaken, particularly in Pola River, to determine the required management and protection measures.





























CITY OF CALAPAN

AREA PROFILE:

Calapan City has total land area of 250.06 square kilometers or 25,006 hectares including the three (3) Baco Islets and two (2) Silonay Islets.
The City is situated on the vast northeastern floodplain of Oriental Mindoro. The overall land character is that of a wide plain having meandering rivers interpersed with wetlands at the seacoast border.

There are two identified faultlines that border Calapan City. These are the Lubang Fault at the north of Baco Grande Island which follows an east-west axis and the Central Mindoro Fault at the west following a north-south axis, and the Aglubang River Fault, which is a branch of the Central Mindoro Fault, that traverses the western part of the City and follows a north-south axis. The movement of the Aglubang River Fault in 1994 caused several areas in the City to be affected by liquefaction

Calapan City is characterized physically by its lowlands which can be best described as a broad flatland. The city has such a low elevation that flooding is a major concern especially during the occurrence of heavy rains. The city is naturally flood-prone and is constantly being threatened by heavy rains or adverse weather conditions.

Two major river systems pass through the City coming from the mountain range: the Bucayao (Pulang Tubig) River System that passes through the southern part and exits to the southeast, and the Biga-Baco-Malaylay River System that passes through the City”s southwestern and western parts before exiting into Calapan Bay. These two river systems, including the Aglubang-Magasawang Tubig River System, built the alluvial plains of northeastern Mindoro.

The economy of the city is mainly agricultural-based and service-oriented. Agricultural activities include crop production, fishing, and livestock and poultry production. Major agricultural crops produced in the city include palay, coconut, banana, and calamansi. About 13,590 hectares of the city’s total land area are devoted to palay production. Considered as the rice granary of the Southern Tagalog region, Calapan supplies rice to several areas including Metro Manila.
Calapan City also has a vast sea water which provide a rich fish catch. The main sea fishing grounds are Calapan Bay and Silonay Bay. Municipal fishery serves as a major source of livelihood for the 21 coastal barangays and some 1,067 fishermen. The coastlines of Calapan serve as fishing grounds and are used for shallow fishing.
Although the city is largely agricultural, it is also the business hub of the province. The central business district features a large number of business establishments, most of which are on wholesale and retail trade as well as services. The rest of the establishments are mainly oriented towards private services and small-scale manufacturing such as ricemills, eateries/restaurants, machine shops, and lending investors.
CALAPAN AND DEVELOPMENT THRUST:
Goals for the economic development of the city are anchored on the improvement of the farming and fisheries sector. The city aims to develop self-reliant farming and fishing communities and to increase agricultural productivity.
The city’s CLUP specifically states that the development path of Calapan should set a balance between the need to generate economic opportunities, preserve the city’s natural environment, and enhance the quality of life of the locality. It specifically provides for health and safety, and providing for adequate safeguards that prevent conditions injurious or hazardous to the physical well-being of Calapeños.
It also explicitly states the preservation of existing structure and cultural heritage - maintaining Calapan’s cultural heritage and respecting existing social structures and settlements. It strives to minimize possible dislocation of individuals and groups. It also envisions a development path rooted in a respect for both the natural environment and human nature. The City strongly advocates a land use plan that will support and complement - not interfere with - nature, and avoid ecological disasters. Most especially, the physical framework of the city is characterized by a management where conservation of habitat, recreation, scenery, and community watersheds is a priority.
Meanwhile, the tourism subsector presents enormous potentials for the city to capture different tourism market segments and thus increase tourism receipts in the city. The city offers varied tourist attractions such as beach resorts, nature sightseeing tours, cultural and religious festivals, and special interests, such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and boating.
Eco-tourism is one of the major thrusts and holds promise for Calapan City as it particularly conforms to several of the criteria set by the Department of Tourism in declaring an area as an eco-tourism destination, such as:
a) rich in natural attractions and conducive to adventure travel;
b) environmentally rich in flora and fauna;
c) native and tribal traditions of the people in the destination are almost untouched by modern influences (e.g., Mangyans); and
d) area is not frequented by commercial tourists.

Eco-tourism, by Calapan City definition, necessitates a type of tourism that is environmentally, culturally, and socially aware. This is aimed to further enhance the natural and cultural diversity of the city.
Moreover, the city’s development is envisioned to must be closely knit with environmental concerns. This especially holds true for the city that is located in an environmentally sensitive area. The city’s development must be closely anchored to environmental conservation and management in order to ensure that this will be sustained in the long run.
PLANNING FRAMEWORK FOR LAND DEVELOPMENT AND REDEVELOPMENT IN CALAPAN
The consensus arrived at during the Visioning Workshop held on 09 November 1998 and which was confirmed and set out in detail during the 17 December 1998 Planning Workshop indicated that the people of Calapan envision a development path rooted in a respect for both the natural environment and human nature. Specifically, the participants wanted a land use plan that:
• Places a high value on quality of life. The participants strongly espoused that land in Calapan is first and foremost for people and that the primary objective of the planning and development process is to improve the quality of life of its residents, socially, economically, psychologically, and spiritually. The designed policies of the plan seek to achieve quality of life in a fair, open, and democratic manner.
• Respects the natural environment. The participants recognized the city's relationship to nature and sees nature's systems and components as essential to its well-being. The participants understand the sensitive interface between the natural and built environment and strongly advocate a land use plan that will support and complement --- not interfere with --- nature, and avoid ecological disasters.
• Optimizes essential resources. The comprehensive land use planning process is rooted in an inventory of the Calapan's human, natural, and economic resources and appreciate their finite quality. Effective implementation of the land use plan ensures that forests are not overused, people are not underemployed, and the places of the built environment are not stagnant and empty.
• Recognize the limits of scale and capacity. The land use planning process recognizes the optimum scale and capacity with regard to the natural and human environment. It seeks to ensure that the environment is not overdeveloped, overbuilt, overused, or overpopulated. It recognizes the signs of tension that indicate when the environment is overstressed and can adjust its demands on the environment, to avoid pollution, natural disaster, and social disintegration.
• Adopts a systems approach. The participants understand that the natural and human environments make up a holistic system, comprising individual components that interrelate and affect the whole. Beaches are a part of coastal systems, families are a part of social networks, particulate and currents are a part of air systems, and jeepney routes and sea-lanes are parts of transportation networks. The city's land use plan attempts to maintain harmony and balance within the environment.
• Values diversity. The participants understand that a cross section of the human and natural environment reveals one constant --- diversity. Human diversity and biodiversity are essential to a thriving socially dynamic web of life. For Calapan to be sustainable, the city's land use plan will not segregate or segment populations or elements of nature but integrates them into the fabric of the community.