Pinamalayan is located at the east of Oriental Mindoro. It is about 108 kilometers away from Puerto Galera, the northernmost town of the province; 71 kilometers from Calapan City, the provincial capital and major entry point connecting to mainland Luzon; approximately 69 kilometers from the town of Roxas; and around 110 kilometers from Bulalacao, the gateway to Visayas Region. Table summarizes the distance of Pinamalayan from other Local Government Units (LGUs) in Oriental Mindoro.
The town of Pinamalayan is bounded in the north by Socorro and Pola; in the west by the Province of Occidental Mindoro; in the south by the Town of Gloria and in the east by Tablas Strait. The Tablas Strait separates Pinamalayan from the island-province of Marinduque and the island-towns of Concepcion and Banton, Romblon. Passenger boats plying Pinamalayan-Marinduque and Pinamalayan-Concepcion daily provides direct linkage with neighboring island provinces in MIMAROPA Region.
The municipality has a total land area of 28,226 hectares that shares 6.5 percent of the provincial land territory. It is politically subdivided into 37 barangays, composed of 9 urban barangays and 28 rural barangays. Moreover, ten (10) of these are considered coastal barangays. The urban core or the Poblacion areas constitute five barangays namely Wawa, Zone I, Zone II, Zone III and Zone IV. Table below shows the land area for each barangay of Pinamalayan, as well as their percent share to the total municipal land area. Meanwhile, Map below displays the political boundary of each barangay.
Local topography is generally plain, except for the northern areas near the boundary of Pola which are hilly and mountainous. On the other hand, hilly or rolling plains are found southwest on the areas of Barangays Maningcol, Rosario, Inclanay, Marayos, Malaya, and Sabang near the boundary of Occidental Mindoro.
The barangays that are situated in the central part of Pinamalayan have slopes ranging from 0 to 3 percent while the steeper slopes can be found in the southwestern and northeastern portions of the municipality. The slope classification is described as follows:
FLAT to LEVEL - These are areas with 0 to 3 percent slope. These areas comprise the Poblacion, portions of Barangays Wawa, Lumambayan and Papandayan. Considering the slope alone, these areas are normally part of the prime agricultural lands aside from being highly suitable for urban development.
LEVEL TO UNDULATING - These lands have 3 to 8 percent slope. The Rosario area resembles this type of terrain. According to slope characterization, these areas are still suitable for urban development and general agricultural production.
UNDULATING TO ROLLING - These are terrains with 8 to 18 percent slope. These lands are quite susceptible to erosion and are fairly suitable for intense urban development. Agricultural production, on the other hand, should be practiced with appropriate soil conservation techniques.
ROLLING TO MODERATELY STEEP, MODERATELY TO STEEPLY MOUNTAINOUS, VERY STEEPLY MOUNTAINOUS - These have sloping gradients of 18 to 30 percent, 30 to 50 percent, and greater than or equal to 50 percent, respectively. These areas are highly susceptible to erosion. Intense urban developments are not encouraged because of the instability of land due to high slope gradients. Agricultural activities should also observe soil conservation measures.
Specifically, these higher slope gradients ranging from 30 percent to greater than 50 percent can be found in barangays, Sabang, Marayos, Inclanay, and Pambisan Munti in the southwest; in barangays Calingag, Maningcol, Malaya, and Rosario in the center; and barangays Pili, Guinhawa, Sta. Isabel, Banilad, and Ranzo in the northeast. The slope characteristics of Pinamalayan are summarized in table below.
Based on the geological map of Pinamalayan that was published by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), majority of the municipality is underlain by the Quaternary Alluvium rock formation which consists of unconsolidated floodplain deposits and beach sand. This is mostly found at the low-lying barangays though it can also be found on barangays at higher elevations. Other kinds of rock formations are summarized in Table below.
The soil types of Pinamalayan are suitable to a wide variety of crops. The types of soil in the municipality of Pinamalayan include the Alimodian Series, Baler, Buayan, Buguey, Luisiana, Maranlig, Quingua, San Manuel and Tarug soils.
The soil types generally have good to fair agricultural potentials. Notably, the San Manuel, Quingua, Alimodian series, and Baler Silty Clay soils are considered as the most suitable soils for both lowland and upland rice production. Other soil types as well as their respective crop suitability are presented in Table below.
The climate in Pinamalayan falls under Type III which has no very pronounced maximum rain period with a short dry season lasting from one to three months. Northeast monsoon prevails from August to March. It is east to northeast in April, southeast in May and June, and easterly in October.
RAINFALL - Heavy downpours of rain mostly occur during the months of June, July, September, October, and November while minimal rainfall occurs in May, December, February, March and April. The months of June and July have the most rainfall while the months of March to April are the driest. The average rainfall is at 175.2 millimeters.
TEMPERATURE - Temperature in Pinamalayan ranges from an average minimum of 24.8 degrees Celsius to an average maximum of 30.8 degrees Celsius. The coldest months are December and February with temperatures going as low as 23 °C and 23.3 °C, respectively. The month of May usually has the highest temperature with an average of 33.5 °C.
RELATIVE HUMIDITY - refers to the measure of the moisture content of the atmosphere. On average, the month of October has the highest relative humidity of 89 percent, while the months of March and April are the lowest with 78 percent relative humidity
WIND DIRECTION - Wind direction shifts about four times a year. The northeast monsoon prevails from August to December of the year and continues from January to March of the following year. In April, wind direction is east to northeast. In the months of May and June, it blows from the southeast. The easterly winds mostly blow during the month of October.
PROJECTED CLIMATE - Climate change projection was based from the dataset found in the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) website consisting of three climate variables, namely: minimum temperature, maximum temperature, and precipitation. All of these has historical climate (1971-2000) and projected climate (2011-2040) for all provinces. Projected climate was derived using two emission scenarios – medium-range (A1B) and high-range (A2). For this projection, MPEH, a statistically downscaled global climate model was used. Each of the climate variable is divided into seasons: December, January, February (DJF) season or northeast monsoon locally known as Amihan; March, April, May (MAM) season or summer season; June, July, August (JJA) season or southwest monsoon locally known as Habagat; and lastly September, October, November (SON) season, the transition from southwest to northeast monsoon.
Based on the projections, the municipality of Pinamalayan and the rest of Oriental Mindoro will experience an increase in minimum and maximum temperature for all seasons in medium and high-range scenarios. Moreover, for precipitation in medium-range scenario, JJA is the wettest season with 60.044 mm increase followed by DJF with 53.608 mm. For high-range scenario, SON is the wettest season with 59.946 mm increase followed by DJF with 49.512 mm.
The forest lands of Pinamalayan are mostly found in Barangays Sabang, Marayos, Guinhawa, Buli, Pili, Sta. Isabel and Lumambayan. Barangay Sabang has a forestland area of 7,420.80 hectares, which is 89.71 percent of the total forestland area of the municipality. In total, there are about 8,271.62 hectares of forest land in the municipality as shown in Table below.
Regarding coastal or mangrove forests, approximately 71.28 hectares are distributed in seven barangays, namely: Papandayan, Marfrancisco, Wawa, Lumambayan, Sta. Isabel, Pili and Quinabigan. The largest mangrove area is located in Lumambayan with a total of 38.32 hectares followed by Papandayan having 15.70 hectares. The maintenance of these mangrove areas may be attributed to combined efforts from various sectors on mangrove reforestation. Quinabigan on the other hand has the least mangrove area which is only 1.89 ha. The inventory of mangrove species is presented.
Production and Protection Forest
Forest and forestlands (FFL) in the municipality of Pinamalayan has an area of 8,271.62 hectares. There is a total of 7,620.13 hectares considered as protection forest, while there is an area of 651.49 hectares of production forest (refer to Table 5.22). Production forests are forest lands whose dominant use are for the production of timber in areas with less than 50 percent slope and less than 1,000 meters above sea level. On the other hand, protection forests are forest areas that are set aside for their aesthetic characteristics and rich biodiversity for the purpose of protecting them against human exploitation.
Open forests covered the municipality the most, with an area of 8,298.46 hectares and covering 34.92 percent of the land area of the municipality in 2003, while closed forests had an area of 1,179.85 hectares. Open forests and closed forest are mostly in Barangay Sabang and Marayos. Shrubs, which are generally found in Barangay Buli, Sta. Isabel, Guinhawa, Pili, Banilad, and Ranzo, covers an area of 1,635.60 hectares. Meanwhile, with 7,946.85 hectares, perennial crops cover 33.44 percent of the municipality, while annual crops cover 3,767.94 hectares or 15.85 percent of the land area of the municipality.
Based on the Land Cover Map in 2010, the forest cover in Barangay Sabang and Marayos became covered in perennial crops, and decreased by 32.56 percent or 2,701.94 hectares, while the area covered by perennial crops is 11,230.76 hectares as it increased by 70.76 percent. There is also a 6.71 hectares mangrove forest and 48.90 hectares fishpond in Barangay Lumambayan.
By 2015, the forest cover still continued to decrease. With an area of 4,739.36 hectares, there is a decline of 15.32 percent. Perennial crops cover most of the land area of the municipality with 11,090.42 hectares. On the other hand, there is an increase in the area of mangrove forests as a result of the initiative of the LGU and agencies such as DENR in mangrove reforestation. However, the area for fishponds continues to increase. This could mean that some mangrove areas are being converted into fishponds.
Roles of forest and forestlands of Pinamalayan include being a source of income of both indigenous and non-indigenous peoples through the gathering of timber and harvesting the produce of fruit trees. Aside from timber, food and water, herbal medicines can also be found in forest lands in the municipality. One of the strengths of FFL in the municipality is that some protected forest is managed and preserved well and are rich in biodiversity according to barangay representatives. Shown in the table below, are some of the wildlife species that can be found in barangays with FFL. From the information gathered from key informant interviews and validated in the barangay consultations, most of the species listed in the table are observed to have decreased or are less frequently sighted as before.
Open Access Areas
Open-access areas refer to areas in forest lands which have no defined use or are not under any tenure arrangements. This also includes abandoned and mismanaged forest lands. Being “open” and not having on-site managers to monitor the people entering the vicinity and the activities taking place in those areas, they are the most vulnerable to destruction.
An area of 711.71 hectares is considered open-access in the municipality. There are some open-access areas in mangrove areas of Barangay Lumambayan, having an area of 32.73, while most of the sites are located in Barangays Buli, Sta. Isabel, Guinhawa, and Pili, which are upland forests.
There have been several reforestation projects done for the FFL of Pinamalayan, listed Table 5.23 above are the projects done by DENR from 2013 to 2018. There is the National Greening Program (NGP), Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT), and the Mangrove and Beach Forest Development Project (MBFDP). The success of these reforestation projects will benefit not only the livelihood of the population but also the resiliency and development of the municipality, in the long run.
The eastern part of Pinamalayan faces the Tablas Strait, which is also known to harbor abundant marine life. Out of the 37 barangays of the municipality, nine are coastal barangays. These are, namely: Quinabigan, Papandayan, Zone I, Wawa, Lumambayan, Guinhawa, Pili, Banilad, and Ranzo.
According to the current Marine Protected Area (MPA) Plan, the total length of the coastline is at 20.80 kilometers stretching from barangays Quinabigan to Ranzo. Consequently, the total area of the municipal coastal waters from the lowest watermark extending 15 kilometers seaward is estimated to be at 30,800 hectares. Furthermore, there are 25 marine species that can be found within the said water territory.
Fishes such as the talakitok, galunggong, dalagang bukid, purak, etiman, samaral, dugso, and kanuping are abundant throughout the year while species such as the kalapato and dorado can be mostly fished during the months of May to June. Other notable species include pusit or squid which is abundant from March to December, and sometimes can reach up to 20 kilograms apiece. In addition, it has been observed as a good sign that manta rays (pagi) and sea turtles (pawikan) are thriving in the municipal waters all year round. These two marine species are classified as endangered and thus, are protected from any kind of fishing activity.
Watershed and River Systems
Several rivers and streams cut across the broad plain of Pinamalayan. A major river that traverses the municipality is the Pula River. This water body is categorized as Class C by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Class C means that the water can be utilized for recreational and industrial purposes as well as for the propagation and growth of fish and other aquatic resources.
The other river systems in Pinamalayan are the Macanlig, Babahurin, Pinamalayan, Sabang, Buli, and Quinabigan rivers. Creeks, on the other hand, include Banilad, Pili, Puting Tubig, Macanlig, Matuod-tuod and Papandayan.
The current situation, however, is that some of these waterways are already blocked due to encroachment of built-up areas such as those of residential or commercial establishments. Specifically, these identified blockages are located in Marfancisco, Zone III, Zone II, and on the border of Papandayan and Quinabigan.
Watersheds play the role of draining run-off to water bodies such as streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans. Hence, they help in water conservation, promote stream flow, and sustain the water supply of water bodies as well as groundwater aquifers. The municipality of Pinamalayan has six existing sub-watersheds identified by DENR; Babahurin Watershed, Balete River Watershed, Lumambayan Watershed, Papandayan Watershed, Pula River Watershed, and Quinabigan Watershed. Pula River Watershed has the largest area of forest lands among all the watershed in the municipality, having 4,761.81 hectares of forest lands. It also came out as the top priority watershed. On the other hand, Papandayan Watershed and Quinabigan Watershed are covered mostly of alienable and disposable lands.
Floods usually occur due to the following reasons: run-off coming from surrounding elevated areas accumulates in the lowland areas, the low physiographic positions of some barangays; poor percolation and permeability characteristics of the soil; and poor drainability of outlets. Flood-prone areas are perceived as poor quality for urban uses. This could be minimized by proper and adequate planning for draining or redirecting unnecessary water.
Pinamalayan, like its neighboring municipalities, is frequently visited by typhoons particularly during rainy seasons. During heavy rains, practically all rivers and tributaries overflow to the lower areas. Barangays Cacawan, Sta. Isabel, Lumambayan and Poblacion are those mainly affected by floods.
Highly susceptible areas are at 1,518.21 hectares, comprising about 5 percent of the total land area. This has almost the same values and percent share with the low susceptible areas, with a total area of 1,514.63 hectares. Out of the 37 barangays, 29 are susceptible to flooding.
In comparison, more areas of Pinamalayan are considered to be landslide susceptible with a total of more than 19,000 hectares or 69 percent exposed. As seen on Table below, highly susceptible areas comprise about 31 percent of the total land area, followed by areas of low susceptibility at 25 percent. The moderately susceptible areas are estimated at around 13 percent of the total land area. Moreover, there are 32 out of 37 barangays exposed to landslide.
History of Previous Disasters
Records of previous disasters from 1994-2018 were gathered from existing records and interview of key persons in each of the 37 barangays administered by the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO). Pinamalayan has experienced earthquakes, storm surges, and typhoons, with the latter as the mostly occurring disaster. In the year 2015, Typhoon Nona left around PhP 1 billion damages to properties, 36 injured individuals, and thousands of damaged houses. To date, it was the most damaging typhoon experienced based on municipal records. The latest typhoon occurrence in 2020 was Typhoon Quinta affecting all barangays with an estimated damage of Php 1.7 million.
Available data coming from the DENR and the Municipal Assessor’s Office (MAssO) shows that more than 50 percent of the total land area is classified as alienable and disposable (A&D) land that may be subjected to titling system. Forest lands comprise roughly 33.27 percent of the land area and may be utilized if DENR issues necessary tenurial instrument. These are mostly located in southeast of Pinamalayan or near the Occidental Mindoro boundary that covers portions of Barangays Buli, Sta. Isabel, Guinhawa, Pili, Sabang and Marayos. The remaining 15.63 percent is still undetermined.
In addition to the information mentioned earlier, the tenurial map above (Map XVII) shows other tenurial instruments for forest lands of the municipality. As seen below, there are about 377.42 hectares of land allotted for Community-Based Forest Management Agreement (CBFMA). The Community-Based Forest Management Agreement is a production sharing agreement between DENR and participating People’s organization (PO). This tenurial instrument shall give the POs authority to develop, utilize, and manage a portion of forest lands. The CBFMA entitles the Marayos Farmers Association Inc. to use and develop the forestland by agroforestry through the assistance of the LGU and DENR until 2025. One of the activities in CBFMA is the participation of the association in a reforestation project with an area of eight hectares.
There are also lots within the CBFM area, under the Certificate of Stewardship Contract (CSC) where the total of 87.32 hectares of land are distributed to different families. A Certificate of Stewardship Contract is awarded to individuals or families residing in or tilling a portion of a forest land, valid for 25 years and can be renewed for another 25 years.
These permits granted by the government for the people in or near the forestlands for them to be economically viable and, in return, they will protect and conserve the forestlands. Agroforestry is allowed as the economic activity that also aims to improve the soil quality, land productivity, and vegetative cover instead of the more destructive kaingin system. The role of the government (i.e. MENRO) is to ensure that tenure holders occupy and develop the forestlands accordingly.
For ancestral domains, a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim (CADC) was granted to the Tadyawan and Tau-Buid Tribes of Pinamalayan. The CADC No. 123 for the Tadyawan tribe covers an area of 1,490.66 hectares of land, while the CADC No. 125 for the Tau-Buid tribe has an area of 7,109.82 hectares. The CADC No. 123 was already approved into a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT), however, registration in the Registry of Deeds (ROD) is still pending because it requires projection by the Land Registration Authority (LRA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) prior to registration.
The urban built-up area comprises the Poblacion (Zone I-IV), Wawa, portions of Marfrancisco, and adjoining portions of barangays Sta. Rita and Cacawan. It is further divided into two: the Urban Core (Poblacion and Wawa) and Urban Core Fringe (portions of Marfrancisco, Sta. Rita and Cacawan). The Urban Core is designated to assume the center of urban functions while the Urban Core Fringe should perform complementary functions of the core and is designated to contain urban sprawl. These districts house the public market, major business establishments, banks, municipal government compound, public park, private and public schools, fish port, food chains, telecommunication facilities, terminals and others. Furthermore, the town proper is famed for its grid of wide, parallel streets that offer convenience in transportation and mobility. Three main roads, namely: Del Pilar, Mabini and Madrid have convenient 20 meters of road right-of-way. However, some encroachment and intrusions mostly within the road shoulders remained uncontrolled over the years.
Beaches, swamps, and marshes with tourism-oriented facilities are situated in the northeastern and southeastern coastlines. These areas include barangays Ranzo, Banilad, Pili, Guinhawa, Papandayan and Quinabigan. A remarkable tourism-related transformation is best exemplified by the stretch of beach resorts that suddenly sprouted along the Guinhawa, Pili, and Ranzo coastlines. Not much improvements are evident in the other aforementioned coastal barangays. Moreover, the Recodo Port in Zone I is now an improved fish port and the long concrete seawalls stretching from the Wawa shores to Recodo assures better protection from the waves. Furthermore, seawalls were also constructed in portions of barangays Ranzo and Quinabigan.
Regarding the agricultural lands, majority of these are utilized for mixed uses. Other land utilizations include those of irrigated rice, rainfed rice, and fishponds.
Existing private cemeteries and memorial gardens have consistently expanded over the years while the crowded Public Cemetery owned by the Municipal Government, despite reaching its capacity, still continues to serve the indigents.
For future developments, the Urban Corridor District (UCD) represents the strip of land on both sides of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) and along the airport road (provincial road) from Sto. Niño to the boundary in Gloria. This will have a 250-meter right of way from Sta. Rita and going south to Papandayan, and another 100 meters from Panggulayan going south to Pambisan Munti. These lands will be utilized for future commercial, industrial, and residential uses. For the past years, however, a huge section of the UCD is still classified as agricultural lands.