The Regional Land Use Committee of RDC IV-A convened its 2nd semester meeting on 27 July 2016 at Monte Vista Hotspring and Conference Resort, Calamba City to discuss the status of key protected areas in the region, environmental master plans and other local resource issues.
Representatives from the Protected Area Management Board from the provinces of Batangas, Quezon and Rizal presented updates on the protection, management and development of the following protected areas: Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (TVPL), Quezon Protected Landscape and Hinulugang Taktak. Based on the TVPL Management Plan 2011-2020, Forester Jasmin Andaya presented the accomplishments on water quality monitoring, volunteer involvement and training, delineation of sub watershed areas, plantation establishment, creation of ecotourism master plan, establishment of early warning systems, and establishment of tourism facilities in the Taal Volcano protected area.
For Hinulugang Taktak, Ms. Milagros Trias, the Provincial Planning and Development Officer of Rizal reported that the protected areas is now catering to a monthly average of 22,154 visitors and was granted P40 million worth of projects by Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority. DENR suggested coming up with a carrying capacity study for the protected areas to determine the impacts of ecotourism and protect the area.
The Marikina River Basin Master Plan and the Yambo Lake Development and Management Plan (DMP) were presented by DENR Region IV-A and the Laguna Lake Development Authority, respectively. The Yambo Lake DMP aims to protect and conserve the lake from eco-tourism developments and ensure sustainable livelihood to the community. The LLDA Board postponed its approval of the plan in consideration of NEDA’s comments to integrate tourism activities of Yambo lake with the adjacent Pandin lake, improve accessibility and highlight the environment protection strategies in the plan.
The City Planning Development Office of Calamba City presented the status on the registration of Hot Spring Resorts. The proliferation of unregistered resorts in the city has resulted to depletion of groundwater, flooding and other hazards. The city government embarked on intensive tax mapping and is considering to include the National Water Resources Board permit as one requirement for business permit. Dr. Piadozo of University of the Philippines Los Baños suggested to create a specific office on resort management that will maintain a database of resort owners, facilitate organizing the resort owners and to use collections to finance traffic management along the highway near the resorts.
Theresa Jane Cajarte, NEDA Region IV-A | Monday, August 8, 2016