Caluangan Lake in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro is one of the youngest lakes in the country, formed after an earthquake in the province 24 years ago.
A team of professors from SESAM composed of Dr. Rafael D. Guerero, Dr. Antonio J. Alcantara and Dr. Rico C. Ancog has conducted an ecological survey of the Calapan (Caluangan) Lake in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, last 25-26 March 2018. Being the lake’s overall manager, the City Government of Calapan under the leadership of Mayor Arnan Panaligan, saw the need to proactively formulate a management plan that would ensure sustainability of the lake particularly in outlining of the rules and regulations on its planned mariculture zone and other uses. Assisted by Dr. Marius Panahon, a SESAM alumnus and the current Technical Officer of the Fisheries Development Office of Calapan City, the team explored the Baruyan River and the lake, and conducted focus group discussions with fisherfolks and city officials.
SESAM Professors led by Dr. Rico C. Ancog, Dr. Rafael D. Guerero and Dr. Antonio J, Alcantara joined the LGU officials of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, as well as the Philippine National Police in surveying the Caluangan Lake.
Lake Caluangan is one of the youngest body of water in the country having been formed through an earthquake 24 years ago. The lake provides multiple uses particularly for fishing, brackishwater fishponds, and tourism activities. A number of subsistence fishermen from 6 fringing coastal barangays using non-motorized bancas and fish corrals (baklad) of various sizes. A sizable area of mangrove “Green Belt” on the northwestern bank of Baruyan River has been maintained by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) though scouring of some portions of the river bank could also be observed. Overall, the water of the lake is greenish with transparency of about 30 cm and depth averaging at 6 meters with its bottom being most clayey. An existing floating fishcages for bangus (Chanos chanos) and samaral (Siganus guttatus) are being managed by HAYUMA, a federation of small fisherfolks from 29 barangays fringing the lake.
The exercise of formulating the management plan for Caluangan (Calapan) Lake provides an opportunity for mutual interactions among SESAM-UPLB as an academic institution and public service provider, the City Government of Calapan as the resource manager, and the local communities as resource users---with the end goal of conserving Caluangan (Calapan) Lake as a critical resource.