succeeding discussion presents the developments in the region
relative to the accomplishment of goals, objectives, the spatial
development framework and sectoral policies and strategies as
enunciated in the first edition of the RPFP.
The goal is to achieve a sustainable land use mix thereby
rational distribution of the population;
equitable sharing of the fruits of development among
sub-regional areas and among men and women; and
attainment of environmental integrity
Generally, indicators that would have clearly shown the degree
of fulfillment of these goals were not complete. First, was the
absence of an existing land use map that would have shown
changes in landuse over time. Second, there was uncertainty on
which set of indicators to use in assessing whether population
distribution was rational or not.
poverty reduction, the incidence of poor families decreased from
46.9 to 46.0 percent or about 40 thousand less poor families.
Incidence of poor families among provinces saw increases in
Camarines Norte, Catanduanes and Masbate. In terms of magnitude,
Camarines Norte was the only province that had more than 4
thousand additional poor families. There is a need, therefore,
to prioritize those areas in program/project implementation for
them to catch up in socio-economic development.
Environmental integrity remained threatened as indicated by the
deteriorating state of our forests. Unsustainable land use is
evident especially in areas falling under slopes 18 percent and
above but are planted with coconut.
terms of objectives, the following general assessment indicated
that still much has to be done to fully attain them:
coefficients slightly increased in the region from 0.4370 to
0.4467; and in Cam. Norte, Cam. Sur and Catanduanes, these
showed a very slight widening in the gap between the rich
and the poor.
rate in 2000 of 91.6 percent was very much lower than that
in 1990 (96.6 percent). There were 100 thousand more
unemployed persons during the period.
facilities/ services, i.e. upgraded roads, opening of the
Quirino Highway, electricity to unserved barangays,
additional telephone lines, access to the internet, were
provided by government and private sector across the
region. But there are many areas with no or inadequate
social and economic services, facilities and opportunities.
agriculture sector did not grow as much as needed to
encourage an industry cum agricultural mix economy. The
Agriculture, Fishery, and Forestry (AFF) sectors
contribution shows a downward trend, from 44 percent in 1985
to 33 percent in 2001. Industry share, specifically
manufacturing, was almost stagnant at 1.4 percent. In
fact, its share was reduced from 1.47 in 1990 to 1.44
percent in 2000. Reduction in AFF contribution was largely
absorbed by the services sector.
Self-sufficiency in basic commodities, especially rice was
not met as indicated by a 74 percent rice sufficiency level.
use of the regions natural and man-made resources need to
be further promoted to provide greater family income. Many
agricultural lands are un/underutilized and most mineral
resources remain untapped.
There are a number of development gains and shortcomings in the
implementation of the regions tandem spatial strategy of
integrated area development (IAD) approach coupled with the
urban functions in rural development (UFRD) approach, to wit:
Protection Land Use
Protection land use policies and strategies were partially
of classified forestlands was completed in Catanduanes but
only partially in Albay, specifically in Rapu-Rapu and
Reforestation in permanent forestlands were mostly carried
out in lower elevation areas since one of the criteria in
site selection is accessibility. The deteriorating status
of Bicols forest cover could result to aggravation of
drought, flood, erosion and landslide and increased emission
of carbon dioxide. A long-term effect could be the
reduction in water supply for domestic use and irrigation
Social Forestry Program, aimed at developing classified
forestlands that are utilized for agricultural purposes and
suitable for agroforestry, was not implemented in some
26,841 hectares. But 23,117 hectares were developed for
settlements are not allowed in identified
environmentally-critical areas, about 1,400 families
continue to live within the permanent danger zone and
another 6,000 families live in high risk zones of Mayon
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required for all
proposed road sections traversing classified forestlands,
portions of Maharlika Highway traversing the Bicol National
Park and of Catanduanes Circumferential Road that traverse a
forest area, were not assessed in terms of their
of the Supreme Court, reversing the decision on the
unconstitutionality of the Philippine Mining Law (Republic
Act No. 7942), strongly emphasized the full protection of
the environment and the provision of a sturdy umbrella of
social and economic returns for host communities, especially
the indigenous people. In effect, the MGB was tasked to
monitor the compliance of mining companies to the Adopt A
Mountain Project, which calls for the adoption and
establishment of mining forests within specified mining
areas. The assessment was done at the regional level. Mining
companies that complied included the following: (1) United
Paragon Mining Corporation; (2) Ibalong Resources and
Development Corporation; (3) Johnson Gold Mining
Corporation; (4) Filminera Resources Corporation. The Bicol
region has a total mining forest of 67.60 hectares.
of permits on sand and gravel extraction was devolved to the
LGUs and Provincial Mining and Regulatory Board was
organized to monitor the activity. Hence, the Local
Government Units (LGU) have the responsibility of
identifying areas suitable for sand and gravel extraction
and limiting the issuance of permits, considering the impact
assessment of the area.
on Critical Ecosystems for Rehabilitation (coral reefs,
mangrove, wetlands, rivers, lowland forests) were not fully
implemented, specifically for mangrove areas, due to
conflict of policies between DENR and BFAR. The BFAR policy
is to expand the fishing area thereby reducing the area for
mangroves. Conversely, the DENR policy is to disallow
fishpond development within mangroves declared as
Watersheds and Critical Watersheds
eleven (11) proclaimed watershed areas in Bicol, of whom
nine (9) had approved management plans. However, only eight
(8) of such management plans were implemented. In the
management plans developed by the DENR, boundaries of
proclaimed watersheds were defined on the ground. Watersheds
should be well managed and protected in order to regulate
water resource in the area. Denuded areas of existing
proclaimed watersheds should be immediately reforested.
identification of proclaimed protected areas was done by the
DENRPAWD. Lack of funds, however, was a constraint to the
full implementation of the policies. Also, insufficient
funds were allocated for the patrolling activities.
Resettlement of the settlers in protected areas was done by
the DENR but this was not sustained due to lack of
livelihood opportunities in the resettlement site.
Region had a total of 50 Forest Land Grazing Management
Agreements covering a total area of 13,221 hectares. Only
215.05 hectares had improved forage i.e Napier, Guinea
grass, star grass, stylo, centrusena, alabang X, Para grass
and carabao grass. Based on the reports on annual grazing
submitted by the leaseholders, total area planted with
forest trees was 285.35 hectares. It should be noted that
not all leaseholders have reports. Low quality of forage
grass, due to inadequate water supply for forage livestock,
was also reported.
Generally, production policies and strategies (p/s) for
agriculture, were partially implemented. A number of policies
and strategies were assessed to have encountered implementation
constraints, to wit:
Intensification of rice production promoted self
-sufficiency but it aggravated pest infestation.
In the case
of open-pit mined areas, reforestation was difficult since
most mining operations experienced temporary shut down due
to high production cost and low market price. Given good
market conditions, mine operations may resume.
and grazing areas shall be maintained with sufficient and
high yielding varieties of forage grasses and legumes to
improve soil water absorption capacity, minimize soil
compaction and erosion and increase soil nutrients.
Insufficient forage covers of existing pasture and grazing
lands particularly in Masbate shall be supplemented with
trees or such other vegetative cover as may be deemed
necessary. Proposed and existing pastures shall undergo EIA
and shall be managed under the policy of equitable access to
natural resources. These were not implemented due to
the high costs to the investor.
26 identified industrial sites distributed throughout the
region but these had no on-site development and locators
provinces/integrated area development units (IADs), as
individual management units, underwent activities leading to
the formulation of their respective Provincial Physical
Framework Plans (PPFPs). The provinces of Albay, Camarines
Norte, Masbate and Sorsogon had their Provincial Physical
Framework Plans (PPFPs) approved by the Housing and Land Use
Regulatory Board (HLURB).
provinces, Masbate had a Provincial Environment Code. These
documents served as bases for preparing and approving
development proposals at the provincial and regional levels.
Sub-integrated area development (SIAD) units, which have
been functional were: the Partido Development Administration
(PDA) and the Metro Naga Development Council (MNDC). These,
however, did not have the same composition as provided in
the RPFP since these were both created due to political
Four of the
identified growth centers of SIADs became cities, namely:
Ligao, Tabaco, Masbate and Sorsogon. One possible result of
this is the increased propensity for converting prime
agricultural lands into other purposes as a result of urban
growth and density increased in Ligao City due to improved
road access to barangays.
City was formed with the merging of the Municipalities of
Sorsogon and Bacon in Sorsogon Province.
municipality of Mercedes, Camarines Norte was designated as
the Regional Center for Fisheries and was provided with
improved road access to encourage its growth. Despite
these, there were no new investments, i.e. cold storage and
processing facilities. Population growth rate decreased due
largely to outmigration.
population density was experienced in Pilar, Sorsogon as a
result of an improved Pilar Port and the opening of the
Pilar-Masbate sea transport route.
identified Bagong Silang as an emerging town. However, its
growth was restrained by the opening of the Quirino
Highway. Instead, the Camarines Norte PPFP identified Tulay
na Lupa as the emerging town. Measures to mitigate the
threat of encroachment in protected areas in Labo are being
which was identified as a SIAD center, has improved its
wholesale trading activities. It serves the neighboring
areas of Burias, Claveria and Donsol. This contributes to
the strengthening of intra-regional linkage, between
Pioduran and Burias Island and the Bicol mainland with the
province of Masbate, thereby improving access to basic needs
and services for people in these areas.
in the availability of basic and other services in other
settlements, especially in the SIAD center improved their
access to basic services, increased employment opportunities
and enhanced economic activities. These were brought about
by the implementation of various infrastructure projects.
As a consequence, growth and development are encouraged
outside the nearly congested urban centers.
identified for urban expansion, San Fernando-Milaor, was
developed. This is an area where the lands currently
utilized are perennially inundated and have less capacity
for agricultural production. Other areas identified, i.e.
Pamplona, Libmanan and Calabanga, still have lands suitable
for residential purposes and other uses so that no major
conversion was undertaken therein.
centers whose growth were discouraged, it was noted that:
which is mostly a reservation area, was provided with
additional access road through the Sangay-Tiwi road.
This, coupled with lower charges for power rate in the
area, were pull factors for more settlers.
logging activities continued to occur in proclaimed
reservation areas, thus, threatening the quality of the
environment that supports the production of power.
Value Commercial Crop Center, a project of the Province
of Albay, is situated within the Mayon Volcano danger
zone. Historical data indicated that the site of the
center has not been affected by lava flow.
of 794 families with about 4 thousand persons are
settled within the 6 kilometer radius of the permanent
danger zone (PDZ) of Mt. Mayon.
are present in Mt. Iriga and rampant illegal logging
occurs in Mt. Bulusan, both identified as active
in barangays along Sorsogon Bay, which lie within
historical tsunami areas, have come back.
Protection of prime agricultural lands has been weakly
monitored. This is aggravated by a provision in the
Local Government Code that allows local government units
to re-classify 15 percent of prime agricultural lands.
The absence of a comprehensive land use plan for many
LGUs provides no basis for re-classification of
primelands. As a result, there has been an observed
reduction in prime agricultural lands, especially those
located in urban centers and those along the national
infrastructure spatial policies and strategies were mostly
partially implemented. The spatial policies, particularly
on land using activities of the DENR and DA, were pursued by
the implementing agencies (i.e., preparing EIS and securing
Enivronmental Compliance Certificate). These activities
considered the protection of identified areas and followed
the standards set by the National Building Code.
policies on sustainable development were not followed.
There were LGUs that implemented their projects without any
approved PPFP and CLUP, which should have delineated the
appropriate land using activities. Still, some LGUs
implemented projects without first securing the required
ECCs. In some other cases, building permits, which should
have safeguarded the distribution of land use in the urban
areas as defined in the land use-zoning ordinance, were not