PAOAY LAKE Protected Landscape (in Ilocos Norte)

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         Paoay Lake is locally called dakkel danum. What makes Paoay Lake Legendary? It is because of the interesting and enchanting history narrated by forefathers and passed upon to the present , including the other stories or observations that happened in the lake narrated by te residents nearby.

        According to such legendary account, Paoay Lake was formed as a punishment to the early settlers thereat who used to be immensely religious but turned wicked and preoccupied by material things later. Their wicked acts earned the ire of their gods, thus submerged the place , turning it into a body of water, while the people were made into fishes with their fancy adornments, such as jewelries, still attached with them. These stories say that, seated in Paoay Lake’s location was a group of three villages called Gumura, Siduma and Sintapuli. The first two villages were much like those communities, Sodom and Gumorrah, which according to the Holy Bible, were submerged in water as a form of punishment by God to the People who turned wicked.

      Other sources suggest that the lake was a result of gigantic geological displacement that hit the Ilocos area in January 1641. A shattering earthquake preceded by loud thunders and lightning, swallowed down the place, then burst back into the sky, thus left a body of water. Later studies theorized that Paoay Lake was formed geologically as a result of formation of the earth’s crust during the Miocene Epoch 2 million years ago.

Paoay Lake is surrounded by the five barangays of Paoay: Suba in the north, Nanguyudan and Pasil in the east, Sungadan in the south, and Nagbacalan in the west. The Paoay Lake Protected Landscape has an area of 386.0 hectares.

 PAST DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES

  1. On June 21, 1969, Republic Act (RA) 5631 was enacted, An Act DECLARING PAOAY LAKE AS A NATIONAL PARK. The national park covers the lake and all lands within 1.0 kilometer from its extremities.
  2. In 1976, the Paoay Lake Development Project was launched by the Ministry of Natural Resources. Its Bureau of Forest Development was tasked to reforest the area, while the Bureau of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources stocked hundreds of thousands of fish fingerlings, and the Bureau of Lands undertook resettlement component.
  3. On April 5, 1977, the then President Marcos issued Letter of Instruction (LOI) 529, directing further park development and upgrading of the sites and services. Hence, Paoay Lake Development Projects an inter-agency efforts of more than twenty (20) local and national offices.
  4. On June 11, 1978, President Marcos issued Presidential Decree (PD)1554, amending RA 5631, redefining the national park limits to exclude 1.0 kilometer portions of land to make them alienable. Thus, the modified park limits was the highest water level.
  5. In 1978, the Malacañang ti Amianan was constructed. It is a Spanish-type building overlooking the lake, and served as official residence of the President while in Ilocos Provinces. The Maharlika Hall at the northwestern side followed, and te Paoay Lake Sports Complex which is a package of a golf course and other allied sports facilities and grounds.
  6. On February 6, 1992, RA 7568 was enacted, the National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS). Paoay Lake, an existing national park became an initial component of NIPAS. Accordingly, its policy making body, the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) was organized. The Board comprises of the Provincial Government, Municipal Government, Barangay Chairmen of the surrounding Barangays, National Irrigation Administration, Department of Agriculture/Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and Non- Government Organization. The Board or the Law Making Body sees the welfare of the Protected area since then through the conduct of quarterly and emergency meetings as needed.
  7. In 1994, the Paoay Lake PAMB, in cooperation with the local government unit, initiated a Livelihood Component-the establishment of fish cages by the communities around who were mostly fishermen. A 10.0 hectare portion of the lake was set aside, at two hectares each of the five barangays surrounding the lake. It was sustained since then, which in fact increased the income of families thereat, and made Paoay as the regarded tilapia capital of Ilocos Norte. By the Year 2011 the Provincial Government visioned that the lake is more beneficial when the lake is not structured by fish cages hence open fishing shall be implemented to the constituents of Paoay thus eco tourism shall be promoted. Employment generation shall also be encouraged in the area in producing products to attract tourists ie. Woven products, chichacorn, dried fish and the like. Other attractions shall be put thereat to invite more tourists in the site.
  8. In 1977, the Municipal Government attempted an ambitious project. To make Paoay Lakeas the Vegetable Bowl of Paoay. It is because of the fertile soils, its topography, available water support from the lake, and accessible roads for marketing aspect. Under the Seedling Distribution Program of the Municipality and the Bureau of Forest Development, Planting of fruit trees and forest trees were concentrated in the area. The Protected area todate is actively participating the National Greening Program through social mobilization together with other government agencies.
  9. In 1998, the Local Government Unit organized farmers association so as to have a good close coordination with them regarding farming in the area with them regarding farming in the area, including regulated use of pesticide or insecticide that may affect the lake. In the later part of 1999 to 2000 their irrigation canals drawing waters from the lake were improved so as prevent wastage or unregulated use.
  10. Recently, all existing programs instituted were sustained and maintained component programs and responsibilities of the lead agencies. The DENR, were in place, with the LGU as its partner. Since then, Paoay Lake is the regular entry of the LGU in the Search for the Cleanest Inland Bodies of Water. The maintenance and protection of the National Park /Protected area is implementedprogrammed by the DENR annually.

 

  1. 1.PHYSICAL CONDITIONS

 

A ) MINERAL AND GARBAGE DEPOSITS

         The lake area is characterized of interbedded sandstone and silty shale with limestone. Sand dunes and sandstones and sale are the rock components. Also available minerals are dental quartz and magnetite. There is no known waste or garbage deposits inside or beneath the lake that are threats to its resources and water quality.

 

B) SURFACE AND FLOATING DEBRIS

         There is no surface and floating debris in the lake, except during and after typhoons. However, cleaning activities are being done according by park personnel and residents

 

C) Vegetation

         Aquatic plants can be seen along the shallow and muddy portions of the littoral zone, which include buntot pusa , water hyacinth, water lettuce, kangkong, tape grass and water lily. On the other hand, the forest cover is manmade through reforestation works. The dominant species are giant ipil-ipil, acacia, mahogany, narra, banaba, teak, tibbig, bitaog, gmelina, bangkal and camachile. The presence of rooted submerged aquatic plants like lotus, aragan and other aquatic plants are abundant which serves as the prey of the fishes and other marine species.

 

D) WATER ERSOURCES AND QUALITY

         The lake is a natural body of fresh water without tributary. It has a depth of about six (6.0) meters. The water source is from ground water flow and surface run-off from its surrounding hills. Critical water level is, so far, the only known factor that affects its water quality. As temperature increases, the water level decreases, thereby affecting the aquatic organisms. Water quality test is done periodically on a quarterly basis.

         Ilocos Norte Water District (INWD) applied for the installation of water micro filtration machine in the lake purposely to serve the people of Paoay, Ilocos Norte. It was recommended by the Provincial Government through the leadership of Hon. Imee R. Marcos and it started operating Year 2013 and really benefited the residents of Paoay, Ilocos Norte.

By: Nora Ibana/CENRO Laoag City

Photos: Jun Millano

News

Tayo Ang Kalikasan Movement: Eyed to END environmental abuse

Tayo Ang Kalikasan Movement: Eyed to END environmental abuse

Laoag, Ilocos Norte – The launching of the Tayo Ang Kalikasan was on a festive mood as 1,500 various stakeholders of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) showed their support to the agency’s information branding and social mobilization campaign.

In his Keynote Message, Sec. Roy A. Cimatu sounded quite disappointed on how the culture and attitude of the people towards treating the environment had awfully changed.  “Look at what is happening in Metro Manila, people nowadays throw their garbage in our rivers which I’m sure is not their usual practice when they were still in their provinces.” The former AFP Chief also underscored the improper utilization of the environment where he cited as an example the status of Boracay which is now brought to a closure due to the negligence of people and the slack enforcement of policies and regulations.

Regional Director Reynulfo A. Juan however, expressed his gratitude to the turn out of the event as he articulated that this is a convergence of great minds and efforts in order to solve the problem of mankind in our own little ways.

On a similar tone, John Michael Fariñas the City Administrator of Laoag City who represented City Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas, indicated that the efforts of the government in Boracay is a wake-up call to everyone, that we (Tayo) should start veering from the old notion and should act in one spirit towards working in the protection of our environment.

In like manner, Ilocos Norte Board Member Mariano “Nonong” Marcos II, expressed his confidence in the leadership of Sec. 

Cimatu in accelerating the efforts in preserving and protecting the environment.  Stating that the leadership networks of the DENR will shape the country’s roadmap towards inculcating “care for the environment” in the hearts of every Filipino, instead of just making them aware of the need to protect the environment.

As the brainchild of the Tayo Ang Kalikasan Movement, Chief of Staff, USec. Rodolfo Garcia, illustrated that TAK is “Forging partnerships. Building a movement.”  That the way to do it is, “Sama-samang Pagkilos.  Ikaw, Ako, Tayo, Tayo Ang Kalikasan.”

Highlights of the event include: Awarding of Financial Assistance to CBFM POs in Region 1 and the Distribution of Land Titles to residential and special patentees, signing of the pledge of commitment and the press briefing with Chief of Staff Usec. Rodolfo Garcia, DENR Spokesperson Usec. Jonas Leones and Regional Director Reynulfo A. Juan.

DENR Officialdom was in full force, with the Under Secretaries Atty. Ernesto Adobo, Atty. Juan Miguel Cuna, Atty. Jonas Leones, USec. Joselin Marcus Fragada Jr., Assistant Secretary Bresilda M. Gervacio, Assistant Secretary Nonita Caguioa, RD Gil Aromin of Region 2, RD Paquito T. Moreno, Jr. of Region 3, RD Ralph Pablo of Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and RD Jacqueline Caancaan of National Capital Region (NCR).

The launching was participated in by IPs, academe, LGUs, patent awardees and People’s Organizations of the Community-Based Forest Management from Regions 1,2,3 CAR and NCR who brought in their products for the exhibit. 

TAK was anchored on the Program for Environment and Natural Resource for Reforestation, Rehabilitation, and Development (PRRD) of the Duterte Administration.

Photo Releases

Former Mayor and now consultant Eddie Guillen (l) of Piddig shows to DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu and Region 1 Director Paquito T. Moreno, Jr. the map of the Lammin Coffee Plantation during the cabinet secretary’s visit here on June 2, 2017.

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu visited his hometown in Ilocos Norte recently and made a side trip to Piddig, where he met with local officials to gain more insights on the ongoing development of the town’s model project under the national convergence initiative on coffee farming.

A Serpent Eagle was recently rescued from the Eco-Trail of Holcim Phils. Located in Quirino, Bacnotan, La Union last July 21, 2017.  The said eagle was allegedly trapped at a cage which Holcim provided to feed some 20 species of migratory birds gliding within the area.  It was found that the said eagle could not make its way out from the cage, reason for the workers to save the struggling eagle from being trapped.  Spilornis Cheela is the scientific name of the Crested Serpent Eagle which was named “Kailian,” coined from the local term of “Kababayan or Kabayan.”  Holding “Kailian” during the ceremonial release on July 25, 2017 are Bacnotan Mayor Francis Fontanilla (on blue collared shirt) and Holcim Plant Manager Eraño Santos.  Looking on are DENR1 representatives, Wildlife Handler Joe Nullar, Enforcement Division Chief Atty. Arlene Buduhan and Cora Pugal of the Wildlife Conservation Division.  DENR1-RePAO

DENR Chief Sec. Roy A. Cimatu as he turns-over the DENR1 Flag of Leadership to Regional Director Reynulfo A. Juan while RD Paquito T. Moreno looks on (R)

New DENR 1 RD Reynulfo A. Juan delivers his acceptance speech during the Turn-over Ceremony

New DENR 1 RD Reynulfo A. Juan’s smile shows a sincere commitment in upholding the DENR mandate

The Officials on the Presidential Table (L-R) LMB Dir. Atty. Emelyne Talabis, BM Francisco “Kit” Ortega Jr., EMB1 RD Ma. Victoria Abrera, DENR1 RD Reynulfo A. Juan, ASec. Marcial Amaro, Jr., DENR ARD-TS Gwendolyn Bambalan and MGB1 RD Carlos Tayag.

DENR Assistant Secretary Marcial C. Amaro Jr. enjoins the participants to identify activities that will put a stop on destructive activities along the coastlines of Ilocos Region.

Pangasinan 2nd District Representative Leopoldo N. Bataoil manifested his support to the undertaking

RD Reynulfo A. Juan as he encouraged everyone to be part of the solution to the glaring environmental concern.

BM Kit Ortega highlights on educating the youth on the value of environmental protection

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu with USec. Jonas Leones (left photo) offered a fruit bearing seedling to the gradeschool pupils of Barit Elementary School as a gesture of commitment that the youth will play vital role in protecting the environment from exploitation. Right Photo shows Sec. Cimatu signs on the Pledge of Commitment Wall. #TayoAngKalikasan

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