Bataan

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The Bataan Provincial Government has adopted an innovative and farsighted approach to the implementation of ICM. The Province has formed a partnership with the local private sector – the Bataan Coastal Care Foundation, Inc. (BCCFI), composed of 19 companies – for the development of its ICM program. The BCCFI aims to act as a catalyst and provide counterpart funding for the Bataan Integrated Coastal Management Program (BICMP) to build better coastal governance, explore ways for a dynamic and sustainable public-private partnership in environmental management, increase awareness, and promote community participation in coastal resources management. Together, the public and private sectors have implemented various ICM activities on a self-reliant and self-sustaining basis.

Among the key achievements are:

  • Bataan Coastal Strategy, adopted in 2002 and updated in 2006 to reflect current efforts of the stakeholders in actually carrying out on-the-ground actions;
  • a coastal-use zoning plan, which aims to createa mechanism for addressing multiple-use conflicts and harmonizing development and environmental management plans and programs;
  • transformation of an ad hoc Project Management Office into a permanent office under the Provincial Planning and Development Office; and
  • establishment of an interagency and multisectoral Program Steering Committee, to provide leadership and policy direction, as well as a mechanism for sharing resources and venue for stakeholder consultations and consensus building regarding coastal management.

Other activities include regular public awareness and coastal cleanup, habitat rehabilitation (mangroves), implementation of anti- illegal fishing program, alternative livelihoods (mussel culture, mudcrab fattening, etc.), and providing support to coastal management initiatives of LGUs, NGOs and people’s organizations (e.g., marine turtle sanctuary, mangrove nursery, etc.).


Geography

Location

Bataan lies in the southwestern part of the Central Luzon Region. It is a strategic peninsular province bounded in the west by the South China Sea and in the east by the Manila Bay — the gateway to the Philippines’ political, social and economic center. It is bounded inland by the province of Zambales in the north and by the provinces of Pampanga and Bulacan in the northeast. Its capital is Balanga City, about 124 kilometers from Metro Manila and 31.30 nautical miles from Manila across the Manila Bay.

The province is composed of 12 municipalities covering a land area of 137,296 hectares (1,373 sq km). Eleven of these towns are coastal areas. Nine municipalities are located along the Bataan-Manila Bay coastline, namely: Hermosa, Orani, Samal, Abucay, Balanga, Pilar, Orion, Limay, and Mariveles in the southern tip where waters from the Manila Bay and the South China Sea meet. Two municipalities, Morong and Bagac lie in the Bataan-South China Sea coastline. Dinalupihan is the lone landlocked municipality, which is the entry point to Bataan coming from Pampanga and Zambales. The province’s coastline is approximately 177 kilometers from Hermosa looping up to Morong, excluding the Subic Bay Metropolitan Area.

Physical Setting

Bataan is divided by two mountain groups of volcanic origins. The northern side is composed of Mt. Natib, Mt. Sta. Rosa, and Mt. Silangan. The southern group is composed of Mt. Mariveles, Mt. Cuyapo, and Mt. Samat. The topography of the province is classified as generally hilly and mountainous with a narrow plain on the eastern side (see Map 2. Bataan Topographic Map). In the entire land area of the province, only the limited plain on the eastern part offer soil areas for planting food crops. As such, most of Bataan’s agricultural production areas are concentrated in this area. Although Bataan is generally classified as rugged terrain, 98% of its surface area actually lies on less than 30% percent slope and more than 60% have slopes ranging from 0-18%. The highest elevation is in the Mariveles mountains at 1,388 meters above sea level (masl).

Bataan has abundant water resources in the form of rivers, streams, creeks, waterfalls, and springs. There are more than 100 rivers in the province radiating from the two aforementioned mountain groups. These are important not only for irrigation but also for navigation and fishing as well. Talisay and Almacen Rivers are the two major rivers in Bataan. Talisay has its headwaters in the Mariveles mountain group extending up to Pilar and Balanga into the Manila Bay. Almacen River has its headwaters in the Natib mountains extending down to Hermosa and exits through the Orani Channel to the Manila Bay. The status of most watersheds in Bataan is shown below.

Note: insert table of status of Bataan watershed, in Bataan Sustainable Development Strategy, page 20

Total Land Area

Bataan has a total land area of 1,373 square kilometers or 137,296 hectares. This land area constitutes 0.5 % of the total land area of the Philippines. Compared to other provinces of Central Luzon, Bataan has the smallest land area and represents 7.63% of the whole land area of Central Luzon.
Among the twelve (12) municipalities in Bataan, Bagac has the largest land area of 23,120 has., while Pilar is the smallest with an area of 3,760 has (see table 1).

Climate

Bataan has distinct dry and wet seasons categorized as Type I in the Coronas system. The dry season begins in November and ends in April while the rainy season starts in May and ends in October. The most rains come in June to August. Mean average rainfall in August is heaviest at 633 mm. Bataan is often visited by typhoons. Farming systems in the province follow these climatic cycles. Most crops, including fruit trees and other perennials, are planted during the rainy season so that the young plants receive as much rain water before the dry months.

History

Several villages in the coastal plains of Bataan were already thriving communities when Spanish missionaries found them in the 1570s. Bataan, then known as Vatan, was part of the vast Capampangan Empire that included the provinces of Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, and Tarlac and some portions of Bulacan, Zambales, and Pangasinan. Natives who were predominantly fishermen, farmers, and craftsmen inhabited these coastal villages. Meanwhile, Aeta tribes occupied most of the hillsides. Governor General Pedro Manuel Arandia established the province of Bataan in 1754. This was composed of San Juan de Dinalupihan, Llana Hermosa, Rani, Samal, Abucay, Balanga, Pilar, Orion, Mariveles, Bagac, and Morong. The first eight towns previously belonged to the Spanish provinces of Pampanga, while the last three, along with Maragondon in Cavite, were part of the Corrigimiento de Mariveles. Limay, the twelfth town was established only in 1917 (Bataan SEP, 1999).

When the Pacific War broke out in 1941, the selection of the Peninsula as the Filipinos’ last defensive stand against invading Japanese brought fame and infamy to Bataan. When the United States entered World War II, Bataan Peninsula was the scene of bitter fighting between the combined forces of Filipinos and Americans against the Japanese Imperial Army. On April 9, 1942, Bataan defenders surrendered, but a small force remained on Corregidor Island and continued fighting until May 6, 1942. About 37,000 Filipino and American soldiers were captured in Bataan and forced into the infamous 70-mile “Death March” from Mariveles to a concentration camp in Capas, Tarlac. US Forces in Februray 1945 retook Bataan from the Japanese. Today, the battlefields of Bataan and Corregidor are considered as national shrines (Bataan SEP, 1999).

The rehabilitation of Bataan proceeded slowly after the war. Disastrous floods wrought havoc in the province in 1960 and 1972 and caused big economic dislocation. Bataan was also not spared from the problem of insurgency, which added to its concerns. However, the economic growth of Bataan persisted through an excruciating pace (Bataan SEP, 1999). Today, Bataan is at the midst of accelerated development and before her lies a future full of promise and challenges both to her leaders and populace.

Coastal Character

Muddy tidal flats along with alluvial sandbars characterize the coastline along the Manila Bay. Mangrove areas can be observed from Orani to Orion, along with seaweed areas and seagrass patches areas from portions of Balanga and Pilar down to Mariveles. The deeper portions are the coastal areas of Orion to Mariveles. Poor coral reef patches, mixed with sandy-rocky bottom can be found in the Mariveles area, where the coastline begin to take on a rocky character looping from the mouth of Manila Bay to the western side of the province. The South China Coastline is interspersed with pristine beaches with rocky portions and fringes of coral reef in good condition from Bagac to Morong, which is a haven for marine turtles and other marine animals.

Forests, Watershed, and Coastal Uplands

There are three big watershed groups in Bataan, namely: (a) Subic watershed from Morong including half of Bagac, (b) the Mt. Natib watershed from Dinalupihan down to Balanga, and (c) the Mariveles watershed from Mariveles to Limay, Orion, Pilar and the other half of Bagac (Bataan Profile, 2000). Smaller watershed areas constitute these three watershed groups. The province is drained by more than 100 rivers and small tributaries radiating from these watershed areas and serves various purposes, such as irrigation, navigation, and water reservoir. The province’s water supply comes from these freshwater sources and an extensive water reserve, extracted by numerous deep wells and free flow areas in all municipalities.

The coastal upland of Bataan is composed of rocky hills, brush lands, grasslands, and plantation forests planted to various fast growing forest species, such as giant ipil-ipil and gmelina. These can be found mostly in the sloping areas of Mariveles and nearby towns. These areas are also planted with mix orchards, such as cashew and mango plantations, among others. Coastal uplands gently slope down to the coastal plains where most agricultural areas are located.

Coastal and Marine Ecosystems

Bataan has an extensive estuarine area where the tides flow in and meet the freshwater from the river system. The towns of Hermosa and Orani are the best examples of estuarine areas in Bataan as the waters of the Manila Bay enter through the Orani Channel up to the Almacen and Orani rivers.

Mangroves in Bataan can be found in patches from Orani to Orion and certain parts of Limay and Morong. There are 135.30 hectares of mangroves in the province and the healthiest stands can be found in Samal and Balanga. The mudflat areas can be found from Orani to parts of Orion, with Samal having the most extensive mudflats where muscles, oysters, mud crabs and other shellfishes abound. The mangroves and mudflats are also breeding and feeding grounds of waterfowl and migratory birds.

Bataan boasts of pristine and rocky beaches with coral reefs, seaweeds, and seagrass beds. Coral reefs are found in coastal areas of Mariveles near the mouth of Manila Bay North Channel looping to Bagac, Morong and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority along the Bataan-South China Sea coastline.

The coastal waters of Bagac and Morong abound with numerous fish species, coral reefs, seagrass and seaweed beds, and breeding areas of marine turtles, (olive ridleys and green turtles commonly known as the pawikans). A turtle sanctuary was established in Brgy. Nagbalayong in Morong. This is co-managed by a non-government organization, with the support from the DENR-Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (DENR- PAWB). Seaweeds also abound in the coastal areas of Balanga City to Orion, while seagrass patches can be found in Orion, Limay and Mariveles. The windowpane oyster, locally known as capiz, used to be abundant in Manila Bay, but still can be found along the coast of Samal. There are also giant clams in Morong.

Agriculture and Fisheries

Agricultural and fishery productions are major sources of income for the people of Bataan. Productions range from palay, vegetables, fruits, fish, shellfish and other marine species. The municipalities of Dinalupihan, Hermosa, Orani, Samal, Abucay, and Pilar are targeted to become the main contributors for agro-industrial production. The rest of the municipalities also contribute significantly to the agricultural productivity of Bataan.
The entire agricultural land of the province is devoted to ricelands, croplands, and fishponds. Total effective area for palay production is 14, 514 hectares as of CY 2004.

Aquaculture production is common in the province where brackishwater and freshwater fishponds having total area of 4,288.65 hectares produce good quality tilapia and milkfish, tiger prawns and mudcrabs. From the coastal areas, bivalves such as mussel, oyster, halaan, kabia, and capiz (which thrive only in Samal) are bountiful.

The coastal waters of Bagac and Morong are noted as milkfish fry ground areas. Spearheading the drive for sustainable fishery production in the province, a square kilometer fish sanctuary was established in Orion in 1999. Among the different species caught in Bataan fishing grounds are: acetes (alamang), anchovies, mullet, white shrimps, whiting (asohos), thread fin bream bisugo, blue crab sardines, mackerel, bivalves or shellfish, big eyed and yellow fin tuna, slip mouth (sapsap), squid and siganids (samaral and kitang).

Commercial, Industrial, Shipping, and Ports

The province has various commercial establishments in all its municipalities, with Balanga City as the center of trade and commerce. It also hosts industries such as the Petron Bataan Refinery (PBR) Petrochemical Industrial Complex, Total Petroleum Philippines, UniOil Philippines, Philippine National Oil Company-Petrochemical Development Corporation (PNOC-PDC), Philippine Resins Industries, Inc (PRII), Bataan 2020 Papermills, Ammunition Plant in DND Arsena, Orica Philippines, Inc., Herma Group of Companies, different locators at Bataan Economic Zone in Mariveles, Hermosa Economic Zone, and Bataan Techno Park in Morong, and other light to medium industries in other municipalities. These establishments are complemented by the existence of ports to facilitate the transport of raw materials, products, and people. There are ten private ports/discharging and loading points in the different parts of the province and three national ports under the jurisdiction of Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

The Port of Orion (formerly Port Capinpin) in Barangay Putting 37 Buhangin in the Municipality of Orion has a total area of 499,764.80 sq.m. more or less with an initial reclaimed area of three hectares. A 120-meter long rock breakwater protects the entire length of the port. The structure/ facilities include the berthing areas for RORO vessels; multi-purpose wharf and fast craft vessels. A temporary passenger terminal shed with a capacity of 100 passengers has been provided in addition to the elevated water steel tank and a temporary parking area. As a fast craft ferry terminal, Port of Orion caters to the daily average of 1,200 embarking and disembarking passengers. The 22-nautical mile distance can be covered in one hour from Bataan to Philippine International Convention Center complex.

The Port of Mariveles is categorized as a municipal port in Mariveles, Bataan. The terminal office is located within the 32-hectare Herma Industrial Complex (formerly BASECO) in Mariveles, Bataan. The berthing facility is a two-finger pier measuring 7.00 m x 12.00 m and 7.20 x 62.30 m. It lies 14 26.0’ latitude on the East and Westside entrance of Manila Bay.

Issues and Concerns

The coastal zone is the most productive area in the marine environment but studies reveal that this is also the most exploited ecosystem. Human and economic activities in the coastal area put pressure on the marine environment. The province is endowed with two fishing grounds – Manila Bay and South China Sea – once considered to be among the richest traditional fishing grounds with some of the most diverse aquatic resources. In Manila Bay, fishing effort has already exceeded the maximum sustainable yield or MSY (Manila Bay Refined Risk Assessment, 1994). Sustenance fishermen and fish workers depend primarily on fishing as source of income. The marginal fishermen are considered to be the poorest populace living in the coastal areas. The major environmental problems in Bataan as viewed by the various stakeholders are:

Pollution is a common problem in all municipalities and city of Bataan. Water pollution occurs when a body of water is adversely affected due to the addition of large amounts of materials to the water. When it is unfit for its intended use, water is considered polluted.

Two types of water pollution exist: point source and non-point source. Point source includes emissions of harmful substances directly into the body of water. Garbage dumping and sewage and industrial wastewater discharges cause this to happen. A non-point source delivers pollutants indirectly through environmental changes. Pollution arising from non-point sources accounts for a majority of the contaminants in streams and rivers and on to seas. Example is when fertilizer from a field or wastes from poultry and livestock are carried into a stream by rain, in the form of run-off, which in turn affect aquatic life.

The technology exists for point source pollution to be monitored and regulated but need to be fully supported by the local government. Non- point source is much more difficult to control. The following are the major causes of pollution in Bataan and their overall impact to the socio-economic life of the people and the environment.

Habitat and resource degradation

Habitat of an animal means the place where it is able to live. It has a physical (e.g., temperature, areal extent); chemical (e.g., salinity, dissolved oxygen); and biotic (food availability) components. It is important that the biophysical integrity of habitats is maintained, and they are adequate and suitable to support the flora and fauna living within. Habitats and biodiversity should be protected and preserved, and these are threatened by factors such as chemical pollution, biological or physical destruction, until the quality of the ecosystems becomes unsustainable.

For the past years until the present time, there has been an increasing number of activities that affect marine, coastal, estuarine, and riverine environment. Corollary to this are the tremendous growth in urban areas and industrial development in or adjacent to the coastal zones.

In Bataan, degradation of habitats such as forest and upland areas, mangroves, mudflats, seagrass beds, coral reefs and other marine habitats are also evident.

Over-fishing and destructive fishing

Overfishing occurs when the rate or level of fishery removals jeopardizes the ability of the resource to produce the maximum sustainable yield on a continuing basis.

The need for fishers to provide food for themselves and their families is a major reason for continued exploitation of marine species. The open access regime for fishing is the biggest problem. With the lack of policies and programs geared toward sustainable use of resources or the ability and funding to effectively enforce such regulation, there is little incentive for local fishers to change their destructive fishing practices. Lack of alternative livelihood often drives people to enroach upon productive inland and upland areas to pursue other avenues for subsistence.

Majority of the coastal waters in Bataan are over-exploited and its resources are depleted. This situation necessitates the kind of management intervention that will help regenerate and enhance these at the rate faster than its natural healing.

Oil spills and other sea-based sources of pollution

Manila Bay is considered a primary gateway of economic development of the country. This is because of its characteristic as natural harbor, wherein shipping and navigational activities are being associated.

The presence of several operating ports and harbors both government and privately owned, including their amenities and facilities, encouraged large scale development along the bay. This means that the bay is envisaged to catch up more shipping and navigational activities to support the several industrial firms operating along the bay, particularly at the coastal side of Bataan.

Due to the enormous number of shipping activities at the bay, the possibility of oil spill is always present. According to the records of the Philippine Coast Guard, the largest oil spill incidence in Manila Bay happened in Mariveles, Bataan in 1999 when MT Mary Anne spilled a total volume of 747,991 liters of oil. From February 1998 to December 2004, out of 18 oil spill incidences in Manila Bay, 9 or 50% happened in the Bataan area.

In addition, operational and accidental oil spill can also be attributed to the 6,715 units of motorized bancas/fishing boats operating at the municipal waters of Bataan. Other sources of sea based pollution such as transport flush out and dumping of solid and liquid waste, septage and dredge materials from industrial, commercial, and domestic activities aggravate the state of water pollution of the bay.

Siltation and sedimentation

Natural processes such as weathering and erosion normally cause siltation and sedimentation.However, inappropriate development activities (i.e., forest denudation, conversion, reclamation) in the uplands, critical watersheds, and coastal uplands hasten the process of siltation and sedimentation.

Multiple resource use conflicts and governance

Everyone depends on one common natural resource base for all our socio-economic activities. Different groups have different needs and priorities, which mean varied interests and methods of resource use, thus leading to competition for a limited resource and conflicting resource uses. For example, conflict arises among fisherfolks in the town of Orion because fishermen from Samal and Limay were caught using destructive fishing gears in the municipality of Orion. Fisherfolks in Orani resorted to mass actions because of the proliferation of fishponds, both legal and illegal, in the Orani Channel, which impede navigation in the area going to the municipal fishport and thus affect fishing areas for subsistence of small fishermen. In Morong and Bagac, the proliferation of beach resorts threaten the natural habitat of an endangered marine creature, the pawikan and further compounded by poaching activities in the area. Aside from this, the bangus fry collection areas of small fishermen are also affected.

Transboundary issues

Bataan is one of the four coastal provinces that share the semi-enclosed Manila Bay Region with the National Capital Region (NCR).

On the northwestern side of Bataan, it shares Subic Bay with the province of Zambales. There are also other non-coastal provinces that affect Bataan through the river systems. Geographical limits define the seaward boundaries among these provinces in terms of area exploitation as embodied in the existing Fishery Code. Lapses in implementing policies also contribute to the breaching of defined boundaries. As a result, transboundary issues adversely affect the provinces and NCR, which surround Manila Bay. This water body has been the catch basin for all kinds of refuse and unwanted by-products of modern living.

Following are the consequences of unregulated use of the coastal and marine resources:

  • Massive harvest of marine resources for consumption, ornamental and building materials has further depleted the already dwindling resources.
  • Catch per unit effort (CPUE) has declined tremendously, resulting in lower income especially for small fisherfolks.
  • Continued operations of destructive fishing method and rampant dynamite fishing have caused the depletion of fish stocks and destruction of the marine ecosystem. The flora and fauna have been damaged causing the deterioration of the ecosystem. Around seventy percent (70%) of the coral reefs have been destroyed.
  • The open access to fishing areas has resulted in conflicts between municipal and commercial fisheries which have to be resolved.
  • Only five percent (5%) of the mangrove forests remain in existence. Mangroves are being cut for charcoal and firewood, and converted into aquaculture projects, thereby depriving the nursery and spawning grounds for some commercially important fish food and invertebrates, and shoreline protection for coastal municipalities.
  • Seagrass beds are being scraped, resulting in loss of stabilizers for beach areas and habitat for marine species. Seaweeds are also over- harvested. Capiz or the windowpane oyster, which used to be abundant, is facing extinction.
  • Pollution, siltation and sedimentation contribute to the degradation of marine resources.
  • Health issues (e.g., paralytic shellfish poisoning due to Red Tide, incidence of waterborne diseases)

The serious degradation of the marine resources has greatly affected the economic condition and quality of life among the coastal inhabitants. This lamentable situation is a result of ineffective and poor management of the coastal area. It is high time that something is done about the catastrophic trend of pollution, over fishing and other activities that deplete our fisheries and aquatic resources.

Discharges cause this to happen. A non-point source delivers pollutants indirectly through environmental changes. Pollution arising from non-point sources accounts for a majority of the contaminants in streams and rivers.


The province of Bataan is a peninsula composed of 11 municipalities and one city covering a land area of 137,296 hectares or 1,373 square kilometers. Its lone city and ten municipalities consist the coastal areas.

With the formulation of the Manila Bay Coastal Strategy, there was a compelling need to develop a provincial strategy for Bataan’s coastal areas. The Manila Bay Coastal Strategy covers Manila Bay and the surrounding watershed areas. Seven (7) major rivers, draining 26 catchment basins, intersect the 190-km. coastline. Impacts of land-based human activities in the coastal and inland regions are addressed under the Manila Bay Coastal Strategy, as well as sea-based activities.

Manila Bay, a semi-enclosed estuary facing the South China Sea, is one of the best natural harbors in the world. It is bordered by coastal cities and municipalities of the National Capital Region or NCR (Manila, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, and Navotas), and the coastal provinces of Bataan, Pampanga, Bulacan in Region 3, and Cavite in Region 4. Also within the watershed of Manila Bay are the non-coastal cities and municipalities of the NCR (Quezon City, Caloocan City, Makati, Pasig, Marikina, Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Malabon, San Juan, Pateros, and Taguig), provinces of Nueva Ecija and Tarlac in Region 3, Rizal and Laguna in Region 4. Map 1 shows the provinces and waters within the boundaries of the Manila Bay Area.


Bataan plays a major role in the Central Luzon “W”-Growth Corridor, serving as the region’s industrial heartland owing to the presence of several industries in the province, as well as tourism area due to its natural resources and historical sites (Figure 2). The province also lies within the national growth triad of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Area (SBMA), Clark Special Economic Zone, and Metro Manila. The province was identified as one of the country’s investment destinations. Moreover, the inclusion of Bataan in the Global Gateways, which is the centerpiece of development of the national government, will certainly spur the economic growth of the province (Figure 3). It promises to be the country’s next economic hub when the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway Project (SCTEP) is finally put into place. This expressway will pass through Hermosa and Dinalupihan. It is complemented by the development of Subic Seaport and the Diosdado Macapagal Airport in Clark, Pampanga.


A peninsular province, Bataan is bounded by the South China Sea on the West and by Manila Bay on the East and its strategic location brings in opportunities for the province to utilize its waterways as another gate for development. The use of waterways by passenger ferries at the Port of Orion via Manila lessens travel time and makes Bataan as one of the provinces nearest to Metro Manila.

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