Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Area : 200,115 ha
Legal Basis : Proclamation 324 dated July 12, 2000 and R.A 7586 otherwise known as NIPAS Act of 1992

Boundaries

The Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape is bounded in the north by the municipality of El Nido, in the south by the municipalities of Roxas, San Vicente, and Dumaran, in the west by the South China Sea, and in the east by Barangays Pamantolon, Calauag and Poblacion within the municipality of Taytay and the proposed Lake Manguao. The marine boundary extends 10 kilometers east of the shoreline where the boundaries of Barangays San Jose and Minapla lie. It was also extended northward to have a common marine boundary with the El Nido Managed Resource Protected Area. In its southwestern section, it was also extended as far as 10 kilometers from Tagpis Point in Barangays Alimanguan as a result of public hearing conducted in the area last April 2000.

Geographical Location

MSPLS is a watershed and a productive fishing ground located in the northwestern part of the province of Palawan. The protected area lies between 10°43’ to 11°1’ north latitude, and 119° 18° minutes to 119°26’ east longitude. It is approximately 217 kilometers by road from the provincial capital of Puerto Princesa City, Administratively, it is part of Region IV-B (MIMAROPA) and is situated within the political jurisdiction of the municipalities of Taytay and San Vicente.

Land Uses and Tenure

MSPLS has a diverse number of ecosystems which play a critical role in the lives of the people living in the PA. It has important marine and forest resources. Among these are the coral reefs, seagrass beds, old growth mangroves, marketable fish species and forest and non-timber forest products. The numerous bays, coves and estuaries are potential spawning and nursery areas. The soft sands along the West Coast are breeding habitats of sea turtles.

Two ancestral claims have been awarded within the protected area, the Certificate of Ancestral Land Claim (CALC) of Ya Boses Ka Katutubo of Sitio Yakal in Barangay New Guinlo, Taytay and the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim (CADC) of the Samahan ng mga Katutubong Netibo sa San Vicente in Brgy. Alimanguan, San Vicente. The Liminangcong Upper Cataban Minority Association (LUCMA), Pancol Tribal Minority Association (PTMA) and Masigasig na Katutubong Samahan ng Binga (MAKASABI) in Brgy. Binga, San Vicente are processing their claims for ancestral land. Neither claim has an Ancestral Domain Management Plan.

Within the area, Protected Area Community Based Forest Management Agreement (PACBRMA) has been awarded to Bato Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Bgy. Bato, Taytay. The Pancol Multi-Purpose Cooperative has also awarded a Community Based Forest Management Agreement (CBFMA) in Bgy. Pancol, Taytay, Palawan. These People’s Organizations are now active in the implementation of rehabilitation project within their respective area.

 

CONSERVATION STATUS  Key Biodiversity Area

Within the protected area, continuous Biodiversity Monitoring has been implemented by the Protected Area personnel. The activity primarily aims to provide more information available for the decision making for the management of the entire area. The program is intended to improve the participation of the communities.

As a part of conservation of marine resources is concern, the Local Government Unit enacted the Fishery Code of Taytay primarily to prescribe regulatory measures on the promotion of proper management, conservation, development, protection, and utilization of the municipal waters pursuant to the provisions of the General Management Plan of Malampaya Sound Protected Land and Seascape.

The Municipal Fishery Code stated that the municipal waters of Taytay within Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape shall be under the management of the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) and as provided further under Municipal Ordinance No. 059-A, forty (40) percent of the fifty (50) percent of the net collections from charges, regulatory fees and administrative fines within the municipal water of Taytay shall be for the use of Malampaya Sound Protected Land and Seascape, subject to PAMB approval.

At present, the Protected Area Management Board has yearly fund allocation from the Local Government of Taytay. The said fund should be utilized exclusively to defray the necessary expenses of the Protected Area Management Board for the conservation and management of marine resources of the area.

In terrestrial portion, Abongan Watershed project of the Community Environment and Natural Resources endorsed by the Local Government Unit and PAMB. The said project is located in Barangays of Abongan, Bato, Libertad, Paglaum and Talog all within the municipality of Taytay and a few hectares within Barangay Sto Niño and New Canipo of San Vicente, Palawan.

The Watershed serves majority of the population of the target beneficiaries and immediate communities. Activities such as, rehabilitation, development, proper management, full protection and continuous information dissemination are to be undertaken to sustain what have been development started such as planting of forest trees and fruit trees. The project goal aims to prevent the risk of soil erosion, siltation of rivers, waterways, existing irrigation, and drought during dry season and flash floods during rainy season.

 

PHYSICAL FEATURES

Topography and Soil

Malampaya sound is a watershed and a fishing ground with a surrounding landscape generally characterized by moderately rolling hills. Its slope ranges from 8% to 30% with altitude ranging from 100 to 500 meters.

Generally, there are five major type of soil found in Taytay and San Vicente: the Busuanga Loam, Coron Clay Loam, the Sibuyan Silty Clay and Silty Clay Loam. Coron Clay Loam and Busuanga Clay Loam characterized Taytay soil while the Sibuyan Silty Clay and Silty Clay Loam and Coron Clay Loam typify San Vicente soil.

Elevation

The highest elevation of the landscape around the sound is Mt. Capoas that rises from sea level to 1,013 meters above sea level.

Climatic Condition

MSPLS has two pronounce seasons: a dry season from November to May and rainy season from June to October. Generally, the months of July, August, and September are considered the rainiest, while the months of March, April, and May are the hottest.

Hydrological Features

Several rivers drain into the sound supplying the fresh water inflow. Major rivers that are found in the protected area are the rivers of Abongan, Alacalian, Bato and Pinagupitan, of which Abongan River is considered to be largest.

Geological Features

There are three major rock formations within the MSPLS. Basalt sequences of metamorphic rocks consisting of quartzofeldspathic and mica schists, phyllites, slates and quartzites compose the base. The northern section rock formations are composed of a sucession of progressively young rocks dominated by cherts, siliceous, clastics, wackes and uppermost carbonate unit. Some sections have rock formations traced back to the Jurassic period characterized with Arkose, subgreywacke, and mudstone. These areas are usually associated with chert. The southern section has rock formations belonging to the basement Complex Pre-Jurassic characterized by amphibolites, quartz-feldspathic  and mica schists frequently associated with marble and quartzite. On the western section along the boundary with san Vicente, the rock formations are thick, extensive, transgrees mixed shelf marine deposits with wakes, shale’s, and reef limestone formation.

 

BIOLOGICAL FEATURES

Flora

The forest in the surrounding landscape of the sound is dominantly dipterocarp forest. Some of the most economically important hardwood species like narra, ipil, apitong, dao, Kamagong and mancono are found in these forests. An estimated 20 % of the protected area is covered by old growth forest and 25.7% by residual forest. The mangrove forest is estimated to cover 3.9% of the protected area.

Fauna

A number of wildlife species found in the protected area includes but not limited to the Palawan bear Cat, Palawan Hornbill, Palawan Peacock Pheasant, Philippine Cockatoo, Palawan Porcupine, Tabon Bird, Civet Cat, Pangolin or Scaly Anteater, Palawan Talking Myna, Palawan Skunk or Stink Badger, Palawan Tree Shrew and Philippine Macaque.

More than 156 species of fish in the sound of which 60 species are considered to be first class species with high commercial value. Some of the major fish species in the sound are the short-bodied mackerel (hasa-hasa), anchovy (dilis), crevalle (salay-salay), sea catfish (Kanduli), snapper (bambangin), crab (alimango or alimasag), stingray (pagi), rabbit fish (samaaral), mackerel (tanigue), frigate tuna (tulingan), and grouper (lapu-lapu). Shellfish and other commercially important marine organism like are crabs and shrimps are also abundant in the sound.

Malampaya Sound is also home to two identified species of dolphins, Bottle-nosed and Irrawady dolphin. The Bottle-nosed dolphins are found in the Outer sound and the Irrawady dolphins in Inner sound. A third species of dolphin, Risso’s Dolphin, have also been observed at Minapla Bay. Dugong and turtles have also been observed and sighted in the West Coast. The coastal beaches also serve as nesting places of the sea turtles from December to March.

 

ANTROPOLOGICAL FEATURES

Cultural Resources

There are several Tagbanua Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) within the protected area. The Tagbanua settlements are located in sitio Yakal in Barangay New Guinlo, Barangay Minapla, Barangay Liminagcong, Barangay Binga, Barangay Alimanguan, and Barangay Pancol. These groups are affiliated and organized by the Nakakaisang Tribu ng Palawan (NATRIPAL). Other ethno- linguistic  groups who migrated and settle in the area since 1960s include Ilongos, Bicolanos, Warays, Masbateños, Pangasinenses, Tagalogs  and Cuyunons who are considered as native Taytayanos.

 

SOCIO-ECONOMIC FEATURES

MSPLS covers 22 barangays, 18 of which are within the jurisdiction of the municipality of Taytay and four (4) are in the political jurisdiction of the municipality of San Vicente.

Source of Livelihood

The major sources of livelihood in both municipalities are fishing and farming. Fishing is the foremost source of income. Almost 70% of the population depends on fishing. Agriculture is the second source of income and livelihood. An estimated 30% of the population is engage in various agricultural activities. The major crops are rice, corn, coconuts, bananas, cashew, and other fruits. Rivers and creeks are utilized as the main source of water to irrigate rice paddies.

 

USES

Tourism and Recreation

Malampaya Sound offers potential areas for eco-tourism. One of these areas is Mt. Capoas with its pristine forest, which is habitat to several flora and fauna. Its high elevation, approximately 1,021 meters above sea level exhibits a unique environment with endemic wildlife. Mountaineering associations include Mt. Capoas as one of their itineraries during summer expeditions. The goals include reaching its height as final destination for a wholesome recreation, and to observe the environment.

Facilities and Amenities

There are unpolluted rivers and waterfalls that await enthusiasts to meander and appreciate. Mountain Climbing, jungle trekking, and bird watching are only some of the activities that will boost tourism in the terrestrial area.

 

THREATS

  • Unsustainable resources extraction practices, such as the use of fine mesh nets, basnig, talakop, and lifnets using fine nets and sometimes use of explosives and poisonous substances;
  • Intrusion of commercial fishers within the municipal waters;
  • Unmonitored use of agro-chemicals by farmers in agricultural fields that affect water quality and fish production of the sound;
  • Siltation and sedimentation from eroded roads and quarrying in rivers:
  • Extensive and frequent cutting of mangroves;
  • Illegal logging and cutting of lumber for domestic and commercial use;
  • The growing population that puts greater pressure in their utilization of natural resources, principally due to in-migration;
  • The increasing non-biodegradable wastes from households and from local businesses and industries.