Minalabac: Physical and Biophysical Resources


The Municipality of Minalabac is located in the island of Luzon, in the Bicol Peninsula. It is one of the thirty-five (35) municipalities in the Province of Camarines Sur and one of the ten (10) municipalities in the First District. There are four congressional districts in the province.

This is more than 400 kilometers by bus from Metro Manila. This can be reached by plane, deplaning at more proximate airport, the Naga Airport, situated at the Municipality of Pili, by traveling partly through Naga City and Municipality of Milaor.

The geographic location of the Municipality of Minalabac is between latitude 123o 8o to 123o to 16` longitude 13o 35` to 13o 24`. Its latitudinal locations are 123o 8` and 123o and 12`. Proximately it is in the west central part of the province.

The Municipality of Minalabac is 7 kilometers away from Naga City with a total land area of 14,506.2602 hectares. It is merely 2.75 percent of the total land area of Camarines Sur.

The distinctive boundaries of Minalabac are: on the north by the Municipality of Milaor, on the southeast by the Municipality of Bula, northeast by the Municipality of Pili, southwest by the wide span of the seawater of Ragay Gulf and on the northwest of the Municipality of San Fernando.

The municipality has twenty-five (25) barangays and seventeen (17) of those or 68% are included in the subproject proposed implementation areas. These are: Bagolatao, Bagongbong, Baliuag Nuevo, Baliuag Viejo, Hamoraon, Hobo, Irayang Solong, Magadap, Malitbog, Manapao, Mataoroc, Sagrada Familia, Salingogon, San Antonio, San Jose, Tariric and Timbang.


Climate Type

The type of climate in the whole Municipality is tropical and it is directly influenced by the existence of the mountains, valleys and flat areas. Based on the climatic classification, Minalabac is included in the second type. The position of the islands, plus the air current that affects the area defines its climatic condition.

The air systems produce distinctive variations in the climate together with topography. These air streams are the northeast monsoon which prevails from October to March and brings significant amount of rainfall, the southwest monsoon which affects the area during the southern hemisphere winter from May to October and causes the warm and humid air with increasing rate of rainfall, and the trade winds which prevails during April and May and raises the temperature significantly.

The mean monthly temperature at Pili, Camarines Station ranges from 20.3°C in January to 23.7°C. The relative humidity is generally high and fluctuates very slightly throughout the year.

Meteorological Data

Rainfall (Hydrology)

The average annual rainfall is 1,271.80 millimeters or a monthly average rainfall of 21.196 millimeters in 60 months period.

There is an annual average rainy days of 98.4 and a monthly average of 8.2 days in 60 months period. An annual average maximum rainfall of 454 millimeters or a monthly maximum rainfall of 37.833 millimeters.

The highest recorded rainfall of 434 millimeters (ml) was in month of November, 2004. The least recorded rainfall is 1 ml, recorded in January 2003. The highest number of rainy days was recorded on October 2001, with 20 rainy days.

Wind Speed

The municipality has no pronounced wind speed such as gustiness to strong ones. Strong or gusty winds occur during typhoons or typhoons hitting the area. Mild winds happen regularly.

Further, the Philippine Atsmospherictronomical Geo-Pphysical Astronomical and Scienceervices Administration (PAGASA) Pili Station, recorded and observed an average wind speed ranging from minimum of 1.8 m/sec to a maximum 95.3 m/sec.


The area, classified as type 2 climate, has pronounced cold and hot temperatures. Hot temperatures are more felt during summer session. This is extended and more heightened, if the El NiƱo phenomenon occurs. La Nina provides pronounced and heavy downpour or rains, beyond its normal occurrences. Cold temperatures normally extend to the month of February, due to the Siberian frostiness reaching the country.

The mean monthly temperature, as recorded in Pili station ranges from 20.3°C in January to 23.7°C. The mean annual temperature is 22.2°C with the average maximum temperature of 23.2°C and the average minimum temperature is 21.5°C.


The Municipality has a unique land form characteristics. The upland and coastal barangays are straddled on the part of the Cordillera mountain ranges. The structure or geology of the area is with an average top soil of 15 centimeters thick; then the sub-structure is of calcareous clastics weathered to light clayey to light brown sandy soil. The clayey layer ranges in thickness from 45 to 75 centimeters. The light brown sandy soil measures about 0.6 meters to 2.20 meters. **

Going through the mountain and coastal areas, the top soil is ideal for rice farming. The sub-strata are more of clay soil composition and not suitable for high rise buildings. This area is susceptible to liquefaction.*** The meandering part of the Bicol River flows through this area. There are barangays, which land forms are consistent with soil structure to silt soil. These clusters of habitation are uniquely called Riverside Barangays. On the Area Development aspect, this is one of the lower part of the Bicol basin starts.

Across the Bicol River are generally the plain areas. The sub-structure is more stable than clayey. Basically, the lower sub-strata of the area are part of the foot of the dormant Mt. Isarog.

Subproject areas in particular, and the Municipality as a whole have this compendiums of unique features and characteristics.

** Based on Antipolo Resettlement Study, MGB- DENR V, February 2005
*** Ground Settlement Susceptibility Map, Naga City Quadrangle, Map on Development of Mitigation Scheme to Geological Hazards Project, sponsored by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and ENR Shell Programme, DENR V study

Land Form Type

The Municipality has these unique land forms: plain, coastal, mountain, and riverside areas.

Plain areas constitute 9 barangays or 36% of the total number of barangays, this municipality. Coastal areas comprise by 4 barangays or 16%. Mountain areas have 3 barangays out of 25 or 12%. Riverside areas cover 9 barangays or 36%. See Table

The general characteristics of the municipality have distinct features. It has a mountain range. This is part of the Cordillera mountain ranges, which stretches up to North Luzon. This has the potential as water source. Data from the National Irrigation Administration - National Resources Water Council (NIA –NRWC) at this area has the potential of 20,000 liters per second ground water mining yield (GWM).

The plain area of the place is substantial, but is inundated by flood waters, during the La Nina of rainy seasons. This is further aggravated by flood waters, pouring in from, as far as the province of Albay.

This is 3.0 meters above the mean sea level (MSL) (NAMRIA map no. 3660 IV).

The Municipality is traversed by the meandering Bicol River that becomes an outflow of flood waters in the Basin Area, into San Miguel Bay.

Further, the land form of the municipality was altered by the construction of diversion channel for flood waters. This is part of a project of the defunct Bicol River Basin Development Program Office (BRBDPO). In terms of regional development, this area is classified as Area Development V.


Bodies of Water

The municipality has natural and artificial bodies of water. The scope and extent of these water bodies are indicated herein.

Bicol River, measuring approximately 17.25 kilometers, is one of the natural bodies of water that cuts through the Municipality. Cut – off Channel Number 4, which is 3.75 kilometers, is a man-made structure. This is a flood mitigating structure that reaches down to the Municipality of Milaor

Ragay Gulf, in the northwest, situates four barangays of the municipality in its fringes.

Municipal wide, there are seven (7) springs in various locations and one (1) sea which cover 4 barangays. There are also thirteen (13) creeks in the area within 18 barangays. However, some are still in good condition while others are in various stages of environmental degradation.

Water Use

1. Domestic

The forest lands of 891.4753 hectares (Table and the mountain part of Minalabac; are part of cordillera mountain ranges. This has been identified as part of the aquifers in the area. Minalabac is part of the sub-area 1 covering 761 square kilometers. This produces a safe yield (SY) of 9,000 liters per second (lps) of water. The ground water mining yield (GWM) is 20,000 liters per second. Withdrawal discharge is density (WDD) is 25.60 liters per second.+

A plan for the institutionalization of Level III Water System inis being undertaken, by phase approach, by the Municipality and the Representative of the First District of Camarines Sur, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

+ Source: Groundwater Availability Map, National Water Resources Council –
National Irrigation Administration, (NWRB-NIA); Manila, Philippines

2. Irrigation

The Municipality has substantial sources of water for irrigation of the farmlands in the SPA. Aside from the direct assistance given by the Department of Agriculture, Regional Office No. V. These assistance are 461 shallow tube wells, which form part of the over-all provisions for irrigation, See Table 1.4.32. Farmers would drill wells for irrigation, around the SPA area.

Due to funding or project prioritization concerns, the National Irrigation Administration, to this date, has shelved a technically and economically viable project called the Sibagat Small Reservoir Irrigation Project (SRIP) .). This project should have provided irrigation for 262 hectares of arable land within 2 SPA barangaysthe two SPA’s of San Jose and Magadap; fish culture and Level III water source.

3. Navigation

Bicol River is used for riverside transportation. Gulf water is used for alternative travel activities of the coastal barangays to reach other coastal barangays within the Ragay Gulf area.

The frequency of trips – both passenger and cargo, along the river ways and sea lanes are detailed in Table (Transportation and Costs to Town Market Matrices).

4. Recreation

Water as a means of recreation, i.e. swimming, snorkeling is present. Presence of school of dolphins can be seen along the four coastal barangays the whole year round. The frequency of this dolphin show increases during summer time. A tourism plan is being formulated for implementation, as a sequel to the InfRES Subproject Proposal.

Moreover, the Bicol River and the Ragay Gulf areas are used for religious activities during festivities, called fluvial processions


The geology of the Municipality could not be provided with set of boundaries or defined area of coverage. The prehistoric rock and land formation studies were conducted and by the large extent, the Municipality lies above these geologic formation; and that of the island of Luzon.

Technically, the municipality in general, and the SPA in particular, sits on top the spread of these geologic formations.

“An assemblage of Miocene-Pleistone marine and terrestrial sediments, reef limestones and terrance gravel are well-exposed both the western and eastern part of the province. These rocks are uncorformably overlain by recent alluvial deposits. The geologic structure of Camarines Sur, are rather complex. Main structural features consist of thrust faults, vertical transcurrent and broad faults.

These metamorphic rocks are believed to be part of the basement rocks of the Philippines, which unconformably underlie the young litnologic units, which ages range from definitely Cretaceous to Guatemary.

An indifferent ultramafic complex, composed of serpentinized periodotite, pyroxenite and dunite, is found in thrust contact with basement rocks and the Cretaceous Sedimentary sequence. *

* DENR V, Situation Report, Province of Camarines Sur, 1991

Presence of Natural Hazards

As there are no detailed data available on a per barangay basis, the information is culled from a study conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Regional Office V.

This was sponsored jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the ENR Shell Programme (ENRSP). The study is about the Development of Mitigation Scheme for Geological Hazard Map (DMSGHM). The reference map used was National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), 3660 IV.

The flooding hazard, regularly to frequently and seasonally to rarely, affects the riverside Barangays and also, those barangays with slopes 3 – 8%. In the study, these areas are susceptible to ground subsidence due to karst. lLiquefaction for the municipality is likely to happen in flood prone areas.

There is no recorded occurrence of Tsunami in the coastal areas of this municipality; nor in the areas surrounding the Ragay Gulf Bay. The geography of the surrounding area of Ragay Gulf, places the area into an almost zero tsunami incidence. Coastal subsidence, will only occur, if massive tectonic based earthquake will occur, seriously damaging the identified fault line in the Libmanan area. This will cause further damage, with shifting of the continental crack at Barangay Bagolatao.

Minalabac, as part of the island of Luzon has no pronounced fault line. Earthquake occurrence is seldom, and if it does, earthquake is of tectonic origin.

Technically, there are no recorded major landslides which have caused damage to lives or properties. There is an absence to low susceptibility of landslide to barangays located north to northeast of the Municipality, referenced from the part of the Cordillera Mountain range. The barangays in south to southwest of the municipality have moderate to high susceptibility of landslides. The high risk landslide susceptibility is focused in the mountain barangays.

There is no active volcano in the area, though Minalabac, as part of the island of Luzon, is within the pacific ring of fire.

Source: Landslide Hazard Susceptibility Map, Development of Mitigation
Scheme for Geological Hazard Map (DMSGHM), DENR V


The Municipality has three (3) major soil types. First is Bigaa Clay which is widespread in the Municipality. It occupies an area of 8,010.3711 hectares or 55.22% of the total land area of the municipality. Second is Minalabac Clay which covers an area of 6,350.8365 hectares or 43.78%. Third is Taculod Clay which comprises an area of 145.0526 hectares or 1 % of the municipality’s total land area.

The soil type of the municipality has the ph value that ranges from 5.8 lower range to 7.6 higher range. It must be noted that the higher elevated areas, has Ph value range 7.0 and above. The lower to plain areas, has soil fertility reading of 5.8 to 6.6. See Table 1.1.7b.


Regulatory Classification

Minalabac is 147,506.2602 hectares or 0.05% of the total land area of the Philippines, which is 30,000,000.00 hectares. It is 0.82% of the regional land area, comprising of 1,763,250.00 hectares. The Municipality is 2.75% of the 526,680.00 hectares of the total land area of Camarines Sur.

The classified land areas of the Municipality of Minalabac are categorized as follows: alienable and disposable, unclassified, timberland, communal forest and disputed. However, there is no official declaration and/or identification for the location and area in hectares on a per barangay basis.

The municipality has the total land area of 14,506.2602 hectares and 77.89 percent or 11,299 hectares of it is alienable and disposable land; 9.06 percent or 1,314 hectares fall under unclassified land; 8.55 percent or 1,240 hectares comprise the Timberland; 0.51 percent or 74 hectares consist of communal forest and 3.99 percent or 579.26 hectares constitute the disputed land.

There are no ancestral or tribal lands in the area, nor a natural park.

Land Use

The Comprehensive Land Use Plan of the Municipality is yet to be updated and upgraded. However, based on the updated records from the Municipal Assessor’s Office, as consolidated by the Planning Office, agricultural coverage, consisting of rice land-irrigated and non-irrigated; upland and crop has an area of 13,010.53 hectares. Forest area is 1,050.9813 hectares. Residential area is about 73.8768 hectares. Commercial is 0.5081 hectares. The Institutional sector-government occupied areas, educational and religious, covers a land area of 132 hectares. Road, bridges, canals, Small Water Impounding Projects (SWIP), Communal Irrigation Systems (CIS), NPC-ROWS have total area coverage of 53.761 hectares. Others/Unclassified/Unaccounted for area is 184.6030. There is zero area coverage in Industrial Sector.

Strategic Agriculture and Fishery Development Zones

The Strategic Agriculture and Fishery Development Zones (SAFDZ) were formulated jointly by the Municipal Agriculture and Municipal Planning Offices. A legislative action, through Resolution No. 153, Series of 1999. ^See Appendix …

The Municipal Agriculture Office has indicated its various little milestones in the agricultural and fishery development strategic zones. See SAFDZ table.

In the strategic crop development zone, the targeted 1,250 hectares was attained. Only 21.3% or 20 hectares out of 94 hectares was reached in the diversified rice based development. 63.2 % or 12 hectares out of the 19 hectares for vegetable and root crop development were pursued. 5 hectares of the 20 hectares were reached on fruit tree based development. No accomplishment was indicated in Industrial/plantation neither in the coconut/pineapple development zone of 9 hectares. In the concern of coconut farming, this year, the Municipality in a proposed tie-up with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) will establish a nursery to propagate high yielding varieties of coco trees. This start-up activity will strive to trigger development in this sector.

The Strategic Livestock Development has zero values in terms of target areas. The target areas are herd management and large animal production.

What is in existence is the native chicken production in the coastal area. Incubation of eggs is now at level of 200 to 250. This is the off-shot of the Municipal Fisheries and Agriculture Resources Management Council (MFARMC). This activity aims, as one alternative, to temporary relieve the seas, as the only food source; and further mitigate slow degradation of the marine and reef areas.

Duck raising and salted egg production is also present in the area this is in Irayang Solong, an InfRES Area. Goat raising is also in the area. A focused approach in terms of methodologies, technical and technological proficiencies must be applied. This activity is to be replicated in the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction – Sustainable Livelihood Project for the Poor in Southern Philippines (JFPR-SLPPSP), a complementary activity to the Infra project of InfRES.

There is prevalence of hog growing and dispersal in the area. A strategy employed by municipal and barangay governments, which is mainly a backyard activity.

The Strategic Fisheries Development Zone, particularly in the creation of a fish sanctuary, came into a legislated reality and in existence. This was by Resolution No. 34, Series of 1998, with Ordinance No. 69, Series of 1998. This has provided spawning area and protected the marine life. At this moment, aquarium fishes are abundant in the area. This is now being planned as part of eco-tourism activities. Inland Fishery has not met its targets.

Conclusively stating, there were minimal developmental changes in the attained targets than the prescribed objectives. Minalabac SAFDZ has to be redefined in terms of realities on funds acquisition, disposition and livestock and crops to be propagated.

Minalabac SAFDZ has to be redefined to meet the needs and realities of the situation, in terms of commitment, fund acquisition and disposition; and the type of crop or livestock to be propagated.

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