•  Project :Biosecurity Measures for the Protection of Biodiversity from Invasive Alien Species This project started in 2011 and has an objective of developing data base system for Invasive Alien Species in Region 4A and formulating some recommendations for control and/or management options. During the year, the following activities were undertaken:

                 ♦ Coordination and Collaboration with the PENRO/CENRO Prior to project implementation, the PENRO/CENRO of Quezon, Cavite and Batangas were informed about the project as a collaborative research undertaking between ERDS and PENR Offices. Technical personnel from the field offices were provided to assist in the collection of data and carrying out of other research activities.

                 ♦ Selection of Sampling sites Prior to actual implementation of the project, the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau had predetermined sampling areas for the assessment of invasive alien species, namely: Mts. Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape, Mt. Palaypalay-Mataas na Gulod Protected Landscape and Taal Volcano Protected Landscape.

                 ♦ Study Sites The provinces of Quezon, Cavite and Batangas were pre-determined by the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) as study areas for the assessment and updating of invasive alien species. The Mts. Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape lies between 13o55’ and 14o10’ latitude and 121o26’ and 121o35’ longitude. It is bounded on the north by Laguna Lake, in the south by Tayabas Bay, in the southeast by the Bicol Peninsula and in the east by the tail end of the Sierra Madre Mountains. It rings through the municipalities of Dolores, Candelaria, Sariaya, Tayabas, Lucban, Rizal, Nagcarlan, Liliw and San Pablo City. It is about 120 kilometers southeast of Manila and straddles the borders of Quezon and Laguna. It has a total land area of 11,133.30 hectares. Of which 2,754 hectares is part of the province of Laguna the remaining 8,379.30 hectares is part of Quezon province. Detailed Accomplishments and/or Milestones CY 2012 Annual Report - DENR CALABARZON Region 181 The Mts. Palay-Palay/Mataas na Gulod Protected Landscape (MPPMNGPL) was formerly known as Mts. Palay-Palay/Mataas na Gulod National Park by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 1594 dated October 26, 1976 with an area of 4,000 hectares and has an elevation of 20 to 648 masl. On June 27, 2007, the area was proclaimed under the NIPAS category of Protected Landscape under Presidential Proclamation 1315 with an area of 3,973.13 hectares. The 27 hectares taken out from the original area was reclassified under seascape. It is bounded on the North by Puerto Azul and the Calumpang Point Philippine Naval Reservation; on the South by Timber land; on the East by Alienable and Disposable lands; and on the West by the China Sea. It is situated between 14°12” to 14°17” N latitude and 120°38” to 120°42” E longitude. It is located within the Municipalities of Ternate and Maragondon, Cavite and Nasugbu, Batangas. The Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (TVPL) was formerly known as Taal Volcano Island Park by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 235 dated July 22, 1967 covering an area of 2,475 hectares. The declaration was made in order to preserve the scenery as well as the animals and plants found therein for enjoyment of the present and future generations. On November 19, 1996, the area was proclaimed under the NIPAS category of Protected Landscape under Presidential Proclamation 923. It is located within: the Municipalities of Talisay, Malvar, Tanauan, Laurel, Agoncillo, Sta. Teresita, Cuenca, Alitagtag, Mataas na Kahoy, Lipa City, Balete, San Nicolas, Lemery and Taal, all in the Province of Batangas; and, the municipality of Tagaytay City in Cavite Province. It falls between 13°15’ - 14°08’ North latitude and 120°50’ - 121°10 ’ East longitude.

                 ♦ Assessment/Validation of Invasive Alien Species - 

⇒ Quezon Province Initially, the Mts. Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape, Dolores, Quezon was subjected to IAS identification and assessment of patterns of invasive behavior. Species of mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) was observed to spread widely in some parts of the park and had manifested some negative effects on the natural systems of the landscape. It was evident that progenies of such species on lower elevations had already reached the higher elevations of the protected area and showed the risk of dominating the micro-habitat of some endemic/indigenous species. The Genetic Resource Area and National Training Center for Mangroves of ERDS at Pagbilao, Quezon which is regarded as the first and second biologically diverse natural mangrove area in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia, respectively, was observed to be invaded by Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon). The landward zone of the mangrove experimental forest was dominated by such perennial grass and appeared to affect the micro-habitat of some zoo-benthic organisms naturally thriving in the area. An assessment of a beach type forest in Pagbilao, Quezon showed that Aroma (Acacia farmesiana) became invasive in the area and totally altered its aesthetic and recreational values. Other exotic species were sighted to be growing but any manifestations of harm and risk were not evident. Detailed Accomplishments and/or Milestones CY 2012 Annual Report - DENR CALABARZON Region 182 The spread of golden snail (Pomacea canaliculata) was observed in rice paddies and water canals of some of the households in Quezon its introduction resulted to the displacement of native kuhol (Pila luzonica) the locality. African catfish or janitor fish (Pterygoplichthys sp.) appeared to invade the irrigation canals in Barangay Talipan, Pagbilao, Quezon and may pose a profound effect on freshwater ecosystems.

⇒ Cavite Province Five (5) exotic plant species were ocularly identified and validated as invasive within Mts. Palaypalay-Mataas na Gulod Protected Landscape. Hagonoy (Chromolaena odorata), mahogany (S. macrophylla), mangium (Acacia mangium), giant ipil-ipil (Leucaena leucocephala) and yemane (Gmelina arborea) were the species that have shown some invasive behavior and might affect the present composition and distribution of existing endemic/indigenous species in the area.

⇒ Batangas Province A total of 14 exotic species was observed to be existing within Taal Volcano Protected Landscape. Of which, two (2), one (1), three (3), and eight (8) were aquatic plants, fish, trees and shrub/vine species, respectively.


                 ♦ Measurement of Level of Awareness on Invasive Plant Species/ Invasive Alien Species- The level of awareness survey on invasive plant species (IPS) was carried out using the survey form prepared by ERDB. A total of 20 (40% of the target) respondents from different sectors was interviewed about their knowledge on exotic species introduced in different ecosystems, how the information on invasive alien species reaches the respondents, and how frequent they hear about these species.

                 ♦ Presentation of Research Output- Some significant information about invasive alien species was aired over a radio program, ‘Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow/Environment Segment” of Mr. Jun Obrero at DZJV 1458 Khz. The broadcast material dealt mainly on the negative impacts of invasive alien species on the natural ecosystems and the policies/programs of the government to regulate and control the introduction of exotic species in the country.

                 ♦ IEC Materials Prepared/Produced- A 24 “ x 18 ” poster was conceptualized as an IEC material that would increase public awareness on invasive alien species (Figure 1). A flyer is to be prepared to Detailed Accomplishments and/or Milestones CY 2012 Annual Report - DENR CALABARZON Region 183 increase public awareness on the effects of introducing exotic species.

                 ♦ Trainings Conducted Last February 28 to March 3, 2011, the “National Leveling-Off Workshop on the Implementation of Priority Research, Development and Extension Program (RDEP)” was attended. Another leveling-off activity has been carried out at ERDB last May 19, 2011 with the program and project leaders. The leveling-off dealt on the target activities and expected outputs regarding the implementation of “Biosecurity Measures for the Protection of Biodiversity from Invasive Alien Species (IAS) under the Research, Development and Extension (RDE) Program”. It was pointed out that such RDE program has to concentrate on the assessment and updating of the status of IAS in respective region and development of an information/data base system as basis for control and management of IAS in different ecosystems. A training on “Enhancing Competence in Addressing Issues on GMOs and IAS: A Follow-Up Training/Workshop on Biosafety and Biosecurity for DENR Staff” was attended last June 13 to 17, 2011. The said training was able to present some issues on GMOs and IAS to be addressed through a scientific and balance approach. An interactive “Workshop on Data Processing, Analysis and Interpretation of Research Output” was attended by the study leader last February 27 to March 2, 2012. The emphasis of the workshop focused on the great impact of exotic species to the the ecosystems. A minor change on target activities was agreed upon between the program leader and study leaders of the project.

                 ♦ Plans for the Succeeding Quarter/Year

  •  Analysis and interpretation of data on level of awareness survey. ·
  •  Preparation of IEC material (i.e. flyer). ·
  •  Preparation of report. ·
  •  Presentation of the initial output to the Protected Area Management Board meeting.