MFPI House bill no. 1979


Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 10:18:13 GMT
Subject: [MFPI] House bill no. 1979

House bill no. 1979 Introduced by Rodolfo F. Gonzales
Explanatory Note

The Second District of Sorsogon shall live and die because of the Bulusan Lake w/c nestled in the crest of the Bulusan volcano.

This proposed bill, therefore, seeks to preserve the very existence of the nine municipalities and its inhabitants which compromise the congressional district by creating the Bulusan Lake Development Authority.

The Bulusan Volcano is in the middle of the district. It is the water shed, the source of potable drinking water, the source of all river cris-crossing the 9 municipalities; the main source of livelihood of the inhabitants; the very source of irrigation; forest products; the only remaining rain forest of the district and with its beauty is dubbed as the Switzerland of the South.

The full development and protection of the Bulusan Lake Area would assure environmental protection, reforestation, conservation of natural resources, and bring about sustainable development. It would also promote tourism and community livelihood.

The Bulusan Lake Authority shall be run by the board of Trustees to be appointed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines from the Municipalities of Bulusan, Irosin, Casiguran,Gubat, and Barcelona which surround Bulusan Volcano. It shall be headed by an administrator with a background in Tourism, economics, business and environmental protection.

An Act creating the Bulusan Lake Development Authority in the Province of Sorsogon and Providing Funds Thereof.

Section 1. Title. Bulusan Lake Development Authority is hereby created in the Province of Sorsogon.

Section 2. Declaration of Policy. It is hereby declared the policy of the State to preserve, develop and protect Bulusan Lake Area from destruction from the wrath of nation and from the hands of uncaring individuals.
The State shall provide environmental protection, reforestation, conservation of natural resources and bring about sustainable development to promote tourism and livelihood in the community for the full development and protection of Bulusan Lake Area.

Section 3. Creation and composition. There is hereby created a Bulusan Lake Development Authority (BLDA) which shall be run by a Board of Trustees to be appointed by the President of the Philippines from the Municipalities of Bulusan, Irosin, Juban, Casiguran, Gubat and Barcelona which surround Bulusan Volcano. It shall be headed by an administrator with a background in tourism, economics, Business, and environmental protection.

Section4. Purpose. BLDA shall safeguard and regulate the activities (like hunting, collecting rare species and other movements which might affect the beauty of its surroundings) made within the circumferential belt which is considered as the watershed area of the Second District of the Province of Sorsogon.

Section5. Powers and Functions. The BLDA will operate with permanent funding from the annual General Appropriations Act to enable it to function independently. Aside from this, it shall also be empowered to raise its own revenues, collect taxes, fees, and other charges to augment its financial resources. It shall likewise have the power to float bonds, enter into business transactions, build-operate the following powers and functions:

1. To develop the full economic potentials of Bulusan Lake by building, creating and setting up hotels, rest houses, swimming pools, boat rides, horseback riding, and other recreational sports facilities for tourist.
2. To plan, undertake and implement reforestation programs in the Bulusan National Park, including the establishment of plant nurseries, cultivation of orchids and other wild forest products; also, to promote the revival and expansion of rain forest, the development and the regulated planting of pulp
wood to supply paper mills;
3. To establish the Sorsogon Zoological and Botanical Garden as well as regulate hunting, fishing and marginal farming in the area;
4. To encourage the participation of the public and private sectors in the operation of tourist-oriented resorts, hotels, inns, lodging house, and restaurants covering the six (6) municipalities of Bulusan, Irosin, Juban, Casiguran, Gubat and Barcelona. The operation of said facilities shall be subject to regulation by the BLDA.

Section6. Repealing Clause. All laws, executive orders, rules and regulations, or parts thereof, inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly. The provisions of this Act shall not be repealed, amended or modified, unless expressly provided in subsequent general or special laws.

Section7. Separability Clause. All other provisions or law contrary to or inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Section8. This Act shall be take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in newspapers of general circulation.

Approved.

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Re: Potential Environmental Problems in the Physical Features of Bulusan Lake

Below are some of the information contained in a report Environmental Profile of Lake Bulusan. The information are based on a research conducted by a ream from the Institute for Environmental Conservation and Research (INECAR) of Ateneo de Naga University in May—June, 2000. The research is in connection with an Ecotourism Project for the Municipality of Bulusan, Province of Sorsogon and funded by ARD-GOLD.

Location and other features:

Geographic Location:    Southeast portion of Mt. Bulusan
Elevation:              340 meters above sea level (asl)
Depth:                  33meters
Circumference:          2,096 meters (approx. 2km.)
Area:                   16.43 hectares
Topography:             generally hilly, rolling mountainous terrain
Climate:                2 distinct seasons: Dry (March to June) and Wet (August to 
                        January with October — December as the wettest months).
                        Typhoons are also a regular occurrence during the rainy season.

General Characteristics

Bulusan Lake is a beautiful serene lake that occupies an area of 16.43 hectares within Bulusan Volcano National Park (Municipal Socio-Economic and Physical Profile, 1996). The same profile gave its circumference at 2,096 meters. It is also located at 340 meters above sea level (http://volcano.ipgp.jussieu.fr:8080/wovo/0700-0704.htm).

Although the lake appears to have no inlet nor outlet, its source of water can be attributable to a unique hydrology that maintains its water level constant over the years. With regard to an outlet, a small canal with its water flowing into an obscure opening was observed in one bend of the lake towards the direction 350‹Northwest of the Parkfs entrance. This is not conclusive however and will require a hydrologist to validate.

The INECAR team believes that water in the lake comes from two sources:
a) Surface runoff from the highland surrounding the lake. Its contribution is minimal however because it only occurs during the rainy season.
b) Seepage from the underground water surrounding the lake because there are no visible streams that drain into the lake.

The lush forest vegetation surrounding the lake is its watershed that provides water feeding the underground reservoir as well as runoff that directly drains into the lake. Ina recent study by the Ateneo de Naga Institute for Environmental Conservation and Research (INECAR), the forest floor at the southern and southwestern portion of the surrounding highland consists of rock fragments having rounded edges. Very thin soil covers the forest floor and the roots of the trees grow between the rock spaces. Figure 1a and 1b below show a recently denuded portion of Bulusan National Park near the lake area. The rock fragments composing the floor are similar to what was observed on the forest floor surrounding the lake. According to Montgomery (1997), the shape of rock fragments and the way they fit together affect the porosity and permeability of geologic materials. In addition, materials consisting of well-rounded fragments of similar sizes have high porosity and permeability. Thus, in these places, water percolates much faster into the ground than in fine-grained soil. Water seepage therefore is the major source of water in the lake.

Below this area, some of the ground water continue their course down-slope feeding underground streams that are released in cracks in rocks as manifested in many springs at Barangay San Roque. There are creeks that originate from cracks in the rocks creating small warefalls as can be seen at Palagtok Falls and at San Roque Spring Resort.

If the above condition is the prevailing characteristic of the rocks and hydrology of the lake, then there is a need for caution when constructing high rise building near the lake or a little farther from it. It seems that water drains into the lake by underground seepage and leaves the lake through cracks in the rocks into underground water system that drains into lower elevation. Major construction that will dig deep into the ground can alter water flow which can have a negative impact on the water of the lake. Such impact can possibly be draining the lake of its water or the reverse may occur which is flooding of the lake. Again, this is not conclusive and will require a hydrologist / geologist to validate.


EMELINA G. REGIS, Ph.D.
Director
Institute for Environmental Conservation and Research (INECAR)
Ateneo de Naga University, Naga City
July 29, 2000

References:
Internet on line:
http://volcano.ipgp.jussieu.fr:8080/wovo/0700-0704.htm
http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/VMEPD/bulusan.htm

Montgomery, Carla W. 1997. Fundamentals of Geology.
Education Group, Inc. WCB/McGraw-Hill. U.S.A.

Munisipal Socio-Economic and Physical Profile of Bulusan (1996)

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