Part I
 The Bases of  the Plan



1.1              Introduction

The technical proposal for the Zamboanga City Master Development Plan (ZCMDP). U.P. PLNANDES submitted project in November 28, 1996. On May 24, 1997, the Prequalification Evaluation and Award Committee (PEAC) opened the financial proposal in the presence of U.P. PLANADES consultants and negotiations followed. On June 24, 1997, the contract signing ceremonies was held at the Office of the City Mayor. The Notice to Proceed (NTP) was issued July 23, 1997. In its reply, dated July 24, U.P. PLANADES served notice that work will commence 10 days after receipt of the mobilization fee. This was received 5th of August.

Work officially began on August 16, 1997 when a 23-man Study Team consisting of sectoral teams, visited Zamboanga. (See Annex for the “Notice to proceed” issued by the City Mayor and the “Notice of Official Commencement of Work” by U.P. PLANADES.)

On the morning of August 18, the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) gave a briefing. In the afternoon of the same day, the Study team presented the Plan and Schedule of Work during a technical workshop, attended by over 100 person, including city department heads and representatives from national government agencies. (NGAs).            


1.1.1        Project Background

Addressing the pressing need to improve the quality of life of people in Mindanao, the national government has been responding to the various issues and problems that have challenges the region’s growth and development for almost three decades. To get it back on the track towards lasting peace and sustained growth, the national government is slowly transforming Mindanao into the priority development area of the Philippines. Recently, in a bold step towards lasting peace in Mindanao, the government signed a peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front.

Zamboanga City is one of the three largest cities in the Philippines (the other two are Davao City and Puerto Princesa), and yet, its urban development has not been distributed evenly in its vast area of 146,000hectares. While the city center is highly urbanized, most of its rural barangays are hardly reached by modern amenities and services. The pressures of urbanization on the city center especially during the last decade have left its mark in vehicle-congested streets in need of circumferential and radial road alternative routes.

All in all, the government of Zamboanga City needs to plan the pace and direction of the city to prepare it for a more crucial role in the development of Mindanao.


1.1.2        Objectives of the Plan

The Master Development Plan (MPD) will serve as a guide towards the development of Zamboanga City for the next fifteen years (1997-2012). It shall serve as a blueprint in charting the sustainable development path of the City. Furthermore, this Development Plan embodies the prominent role of Zamboanga City in the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIM-EAGA) initiatives and in the Asia-Pacific region.


1.1.3        Methodology 

The process in the preparation of the plan includes:

  • The review of existing data; related literature
  • Conduct of Barangay Land Use Survey and Survey of Facilities and Services
  • Conduct of consultations with barangays and sectors/interest groups
  • Conduct of interviews with Key Informants (sectoral)


1.1.4        Planning Period and Study Area

The planning period covered by this Master Development Plan is fifteen years (1997-2012) with the entire City of Zamboanga as study area covering 146,000 hectares.


1.1.5        Development Planning Process

Master Development Plan Conceptual Framework





Highlights of the Planning Process





1.2              Situation Analysis

Extracts from the Situation analysis provide a summary of the baseline data used for the Master Development Plan of Zamboanga City.

     Population and Land Use

1.2.1      Population Levels and Growth Pattern

In 1995, Zamboanga City had a total population of 511,139. It has increased two and a half times over a 25-year period. This remarkable growth maybe traced to the rapid growth that was experienced between 1970 and 1980, when the City’s population was increasing at a rate not lower than 5% per annum. Population growth lost its momentum in the early ‘80s when it declined to a rate of 2.55% per annum. However, the rate started to pick up again during the first half of the decade (1990-1995), registering an average of 2.47 % annual growth. The increase in the growth rate from 2.55% between 1980 and 1990 to 2.47% in 1990-1995 can be attributed to the increase in the net migration rate.

Assuming the persistence of the current rate of growth, the 1997 mid-year population of the city is projected at 536,906. Over all 60 percent of the total household population are in the economically productive years. This pool of human resources will be beneficial to the economic expansion of the City.


1.2.2        Spatial Distribution of Population

Population is heavily concentrated in the urban area and its vicinity leaving a relatively sparsely populated hinterland. Since 1970, the concentration of people has been in the city proper but it is currently showing evidences of spreading towards the northeast. Data on population distribution and population densities by barangay indicate the unbalanced and skewed spatial distribution of the City’s population.

Zamboanga City exhibits the concept of population concentration as a function of the distance from the city center – that is, those barangays located nearest to the center where the City Hall is likely to be the most densely populated. The urban barangays of Mariki, Campo Islam, Sta. Barbara, Sto. Nino, Sta. Catalina and Zone 1 exhibited the highest population concentration in terms of inhabitants per hectare, ranging from 200 to as high as 10 thousand. The latter figure, which refers to Barangay Mariki, however, is exceptionally high although it has a very small land area. Its residents live in houses built on the coastal waters. Except from Taluksangay, Arena Blanco, Tictabon, and Recodo, barangays located beyond the 5-kilometer radius posted a density of not more than 20 persons per hectare in 1995.


1.2.3        Population Projection

If the current trend in population growth persists, Zamboanga City is projected to have the following population levels:

Population Projections: Zamboanga City,

1997 - 2012
















Moreover, at the rate population is increasing (2.47 percent annually), the present population level of Zamboanga City is expected to double in 25 years. With the infusion of more infrastructure facilities and economic opportunities, there is a tendency for the rate of population growth population to accelerate. This acceleration is due primarily to in-migration in the short-term and improved income and health leading to increased fertility in the long term. Given such a situation, population may eventually double in less than the expected doubling time of 25 years.


1.2.4        Land Use

Land use classification is based on the data for 1972 and 1993. it is evident that the coverage of forest and wet lands is declining even as agricultural and built-up areas continue to expand. The urban area has a tendency to expand in linear manner in finger-like extensions following the alignment of the roads radiating out of the city center1 Expansion, however, is seen to occur more rapidly along the Zamboanga City-Pagadian National Road the main northeastern corridor.

The hinterland is still largely agricultural. Wide tracts of Riceland, coconut and fruit plantations characterize the East Coast. There are also three hubs of activities in this area. First is Singali where the Zamboanga City Fish Port Complex and 100-MW Power Plant are located. The two other hubs are Curuan and Vitali, which are located in road convergence point’s sub-centers of trade in the rural area. The West Coast, on the other hand, also hosts rice lands and fruit plantations although not on the same scale as those on the East Coast. It is an emergent trading and industrial area with the Regional Agri-Industrial Center in Ayala and Zamboanga Ecozone in San Ramon.


1.2.5    Land Supply and Demand Analysis

Two supply situations exist. They differ mainly because of slope limitations and the stipulations of the Revised Forestry Code. The first situation determines the Gross Supply, which implies the absolute limits of urban expansion or the “Boundary Threshold”, beyond which no urban development allowed. This is primarily along with the other limiting factors. Zamboanga City’s Gross Supply is estimated to be 51,676 has.

The second situation determines the Net Supply or the “First Threshold”. The 18% to 50% slope range marks this, which are “conditional” restricted for urban use. Assuming that the Net Supply can cope up with the projected demand, then it may not be advisable to allow extensive urban development to cross the “First Threshold”. The City’s Net Supply is estimated to be at 36,005 has.


1.2.6        Carrying Capacity of Land

In order to estimate how large a population can be supported by the remaining urbanizable land, the net land carrying capacity is determined. If the first threshold is considered, the net carrying capacity ranges from over 100,000 to over four million people. Should the boundary threshold be considered, the maximum population might be around six million people. From these estimates, the additional projected population of 322,100 by the year 2012 may still be accommodated, considering land supply alone.


1.2.7        Demand for Urban Land

In estimating the projected demand for urban land by the year 2012, an Aggregate Model was used based on current density or the space utilization factor per capita. For an additional population of 322,100, the demand for urban land may range from 2,577 to nearly 100,000 has. Supply for urban land is still ample if densities will not be based upon the very low value of 3.24 persons per hectare, which is the Gross City Density. Further, the First Threshold is still capable of absorbing population growth.


1.2.8        Agricultural Land Demand and Supply Analysis

Looking particularly at the staple crops, the City requires a total of 61,331 of rice MT and 26,285 MT of corn, to fully feed the population projected for the year 2012 population (see Table 11-24, volume 2 for details). Assuming that the City will internally produce all these, it would need 12,315 has of rice and 14,603 has of corn lands cropped at an estimated intensity 1.5 times per year (see Table 11-25, volume 2 for details). With the hectare of planted area in 1993, there will be a land deficit of 7,056 has for rice and 9,990 has for corn, it becomes apparent that food self-sufficiency for staple crops cannot be attained (see Table 11-26, volume 2 for details).


1.2.9        Road Networks

The existing road network is inefficient for the requirements of the City. The roads in the CCBD are narrow, and the main thoroughfares linking the different districts of the city proper have limited interconnection thereby causing congestion in major intersections, which are very few in relation to the requirements for efficient movements patterns. Furthermore, minor roads are fragmented since they do not connect to one another, terminating in dead-ends. The need is for a more efficient road system that would: ease traffic congestion in the city proper, link the unconnected minor and interior roads as well as connect the urbanized part of the city to the rest of its urbanizing areas.

The lack of parking spaces and good sidewalks aggravates traffic congestion, thereby rendering pedestrian experience in the City very dehumanizing. The City can consider completely pedestrianizing certain roads in the CBD, and improving pedestrian paths including the adding of landscape sidewalks along waterways.


1.2.10    Poverty and Squatting

The ugliness in Zamboanga City is rooted on a lot of improvisations resorted to due to lack of funds for better construction. Lack of funds for housing has resulted into the emergence of squatter colonies and blighted areas. Ugly facades, fences, firewalls and sidewalks together with squatting contribute to the unsightly developments in the urban area. However, ugliness can be minimized through creative efforts in the design and construction of structures as well as the enforcement as guidelines that would require low-cost cleaning and greening of the environment.


1.2.11    Inventory of Service and Facilities

Of the hundred eight (108) listed services and facilities existing in each barangay, Tetuan has the most number of these at sixty five (65), followed by Baliwasan at sixty (60), while Panubigan and the island barangay of Limaong has non of these at all. Of the 98 barangays, only five (5) barangays have 50 and more of these services and facilities to include Zone IV (53) and San Jose Cawa-Cawa and Sta. Maria at fifty- (50) each. If we categorize the availability of these services and facilities from the most served to the least and into the following level, 50 and >, 40-49, 30-39, 20-29, 10-19 and <10, after the first level, the next one has only ten (10) barangays, followed by seventeen (17) barangays for 30-39 level, 25 barangays each for the next two levels and sixteen (16) barangays for the last. Or, of the 108 listed services and facilities, only 32.65% or 32 barangays enjoy the presence of at least thirty and more while 67.35% or 66 barangays have less than thirty (30) present in their community.

Furthermore, majority of these services and facilities are concentrated within the urban and northwestern barangays, which only a few rural barangays are privileged to have the presence of more than thirty- (30) services and facilities. This may be explained due to their function as growth areas e.g. Manicahan, Boalan, Recodo, Cawit, Culianan and Bolong.

On the other hand, most of the rural and all island barangays are the least served with sixteen (16) barangays having less than ten (10) services and facilities available and eight (8) of which are island barangays, like Mariki, Mampang, Cabatangan, Arena Blanco, Sta. Barbara, Rio Hondo, Campo Islam and sta. Catalina have lesser number of these facilities than other urban barangays. However, because of their proximity and easy access to these services and facilities, their absence will not be very critical. These barangays fall within the category of depressed barangays.


1.2.12    Zoning Implementations

Aside from the 1978 Zoning Ordinance and its amendatory ordinance, (1982), no other local legislation embodying land use and related policies which impact on the present planning project have been enacted by the Zamboanga City government. The Zamboanga City Zoning Ordinance (ZCZO) and its amendments being enforced in the City are still the traditional zoning regulations. These were patterned after the model formulated by the predecessor of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board several decades ago. Thus, many of these provisions are already outdated.

The ZCZO is found in Ordinance No. 29 enacted by the Zamboanga legislative body in 1978 and amended by Ordinance No.53 in 1982. it is a martial law document which is 15 years old and patterned after the Model Zoning Ordinance of the Human Settlement Regulatory Commission or HSRC, (now known as the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board or HLURB). Like ordinances of this village, its geographical coverage is not the entire city but only the poblacion.

The ZCZO has since then been overtaken by recent events, the latest of which is the approval of the revised HLURB Zoning Ordinance in 1997 by an inter-agency committee. Described by many who are familiar with it as “antiquated”, the present ZCZO, for instance, still makes references to abolished organizations such as the Human Settlements Regulatory Commission or HRSC which has been replaced by the HLURB and the National Pollution Control Commission.

The ordinance contains outdated concepts (or fails to implement such principles such as the incremental approach, in the expected manner). Vague provisions using very subjective parameters, (e.g. “reasonable distance”, “acceptable form”) vest substantial authority on the Zoning Administrator. The ZCZO also lacks the provisions regulating the temporary structures of the nineties such as town houses, condotels and theme parks. There are also no references to more recently adopted concepts including the comprehensive principles on environmental management and protection and sustainable development, people participation; gender sensitiveness; restoration and cultural heritage and realistic performance standards.

The Local Economy


1.2.13    Agriculture


Food Self-sufficiency and Food Security. Domestic production of palay in Zamboanga City is not enough to meet the needs of the current population. Furthermore, considering current trends in area planted to palay and yield per hectare, projected domestic production would not be enough to meet the needs of the projected population. Nonetheless, the population is assured of a regular supply of palay by the neighboring cities and provinces. While food self-sufficiency is a major concern, food security is not a pressing issue in Zamboanga City.

Considering the data on demand for palay vis-à-vis production in 1993, the City is short by about one-third of its requirement. By the year 2012, if the current production level of about 3.3 mt/ha will be sustained, the area harvested to palay has to be tripled if the intention is food self-sufficiency. This is not realistic given the difficulties of developing the potentially irrigable lands and the conversion of some of the irrigated rice lands. At this point, there should be no illusion that the City will be able to meet its food requirement in terms of palay. The City will always be a net importer of palay or rice from the neighboring cities and provinces.


Expansion of Agricultural Corps Production

THE city is a coconut producing area since some 40,939 hectares of land are planted to coconut. This are, though, is declining through the years. Other major crops in the city include banana (3,308), cassava (1,894 hectares), coffee (951 hectares), mango (480 hectares), and rubber (374 hectares). Aside from the potential expanding agricultural crop production both in the East and West Coast areas, there is great potential in terms of processing of these major crops. Among the crops identified for processing include mango, durian and cassava.


1.2.14    Trade and Industry    

Low Industrial Productivity

Due to inadequate post-harvest handling and storage facilities, collection of products for processing is difficult for processors. Consequently, value-added for agricultural/marine-base produce is not optimized and the industries have not developed and expanded as expected. In Region IX, regional labor productivity is P18, 675 gross domestic products per employed person, which is just 70% of the national average in 1994; it is the lowest in Mindanao.


Low Investment Generation

The creation of good business climate for investments needs to be undertaken, primarily through the provision of local incentives to priority industries and ease of access to information and business registration. (An investments incentive ordinance is pending before the Sangguniang Panlungsod).

Similarly, infrastructure support facilities for identified industrial and commercial sites should be prioritized to attract investors from the locality and the BIMP_EAGA. For one, inefficient power distribution is a problem. Also, the transfer of seaport and airport would help a lot to accelerate the industrial development of the City. The poor road condition increases the transport cost of products. This needs to be addressed too.


Further Development of Trading

Trading should be encouraged and developed as the people have shown their inherent skills in trading. Consequently, trading investments on shipping and allied services should be promoted. Similarly, the high cost of shipping and transport is deterring the City from becoming the shopping capital of the BMP-EAGA.


1.2.15    Tourism


Weak Enforcement of City Ordinances on Environmental Sanitation

It was noted that the city ordinances having to do with environmental sanitation are poorly enforced. This is coupled with insufficient support services for solid waste disposal and the lack of appreciation for a clean and beautiful environment on the part of its citizenry. This dirty environment discourages tourists.


Lack of Priority Accorded to Tourism

Tourism appears not to be a priority of the City government despite its enormous potential to achieve the following:

·         Income and employment generation

·         Business development (small manufacturing and retail trade)

·         Higher tax bas for the City Government

·         Environmental conservation

·         Greater cultural awareness both among the Filipinos as well as the foreign visitors

·         More intense historical awareness among the people, especially the young, of the critical and important participation of the City of Zamboanga in the major events in Philippine history

·         Positioning of Zamboanga City as a strategic player in the BMP-EAGA and tourism markets especially in cruise shipping.

The following may be evidences of this lack of priority:

·         Deterioration of some tourist attractions, notably Pasonanca Park and Sta. Cruz Island, due to the lack of maintenance.

·         Absence of an operational City Tourist Information Center

·         Lack of directional signages and standardized tourism markers.


Lack of Dynamic Government-Private Sector Partnership on Tourism Development

There is a significant segment of the private sector who are all too willing and able to assist the City Government in the drive to upgrade the tourist attractions and facilities of Zamboanga City but are largely untapped by the LGU. This points to the need to revitalize and transform the City Tourism Council into a dynamic partnership between the Cities to design local incentives to attract the private sector to undertake tourism investments.


Image Problem

Zamboanga City has an image problem. It is largely perceived as an area with peace and order problems. Damage control has to be done to ensure that anyone, whether domestic or foreign tourist, who visits the city will have fond memories, evoking a desire to return next time, with more of his family members, friends and associates. Tourism thrives on repeat business and this can only happen when the aspect of security is adequately addressed.

The Physical Environment

1.2.16    Watersheds and Forests


Foremost of the concerns aired by the concerned sector is the problem of forest degradation and the need to protect the seven identified watershed areas. It should be noted that out of the identified seven watersheds, only one so far is covered by a Presidential proclamation, that is, the Pasonanca Watershed Reservation. The rest of the identified watersheds are still for proclamation. As of June 1997 the documents pertinent to the following watersheds are still in the various stages of completion. Apparently, there are still a number of prerequisite activities that have to be undertaken before the completion of the necessary documents for their proclamation as reservations.


1.2.17    Competing Uses of Forests Lands 

The proclamation of a total of 54 hectares in San Ramon, Zamboanga City as part of the Zamboanga City Special and Free Port Zone has brought about problems on conflicting land uses. The creation of an is perceived by some as the start of land conversion owing to the fact that medium and small scale industries are likely to locate in the said area. Accordingly, there are fears that the existing land uses, such as prime agricultural uses, will be converted into other land uses, given the situation. Thereby presidential proclamation, gained control of over 15,000 hectares of vital watershed land in the West coast.


1.2.18    River Protection

A host of environment-specific problems were also identified. One of them is on the need for a river rehabilitation and protection program. The current state of the river systems in the City reflects the lack of a comprehensive river protection and rehabilitation program. This is closely related to the problem of river pollution due to the dumping of solid and liquid waste into rivers. The increase in population especially in urban areas has further aggravated this problem.


1.2.19    Solid and Liquid Waste Disposal

The lack of proper disposal sites for solid waste and the indiscriminate dumping of industrial waste have led to the degradation of some of the major rivers of Zamboanga City. In addition, there is the absence of treatment facilities for both industrial and hospital wastes. Also, the existing sewerage system of the City is inadequate to meet and pass the DENR effluent/water quality standards specifically in the urban area. At the same time, there is a growing need to formulate a comprehensive solid waste management program for Zamboanga City. For instance, constructing landfill for solid waste.


1.2.20    Air Pollution

The presence and proliferation of industries, such as plastic factories, band saw mills for coconut   wood and fish drying, within the City along with the increasing volume of motorized vehicles have started to generate air pollution problems. Thus, there is a need to enforce anti-smoke belching programs, regulate the establishment of industries in residential/populated areas, and strictly implement pollution laws, specifically those on air pollution. Constant monitoring of the air pollution level is necessary to keep track of the air pollution levels in the City.


1.2.21    Decline of Marine Resources

The state of fishery resources in most areas of the City is already approaching a critical depletion level because of poor fishery development program, as well as illegal fishing activity. Environmental damage through destruction of important fish habitat, quarrying, intensification of fishpond culture, development of mangrove swamps into aquaculture sites that require chemicals for production have threatened the coastal areas. The reefs and sea grasses accounted for amount to only a few. Worse, the occurrence of endangered marine species and other organism found in the area have reached alarming level.


1.2.22    Water Supply

Zamboanga City relies heavily on surface water from the Tumaga River for its water supply. Currently, the ZCWD is servicing only 48% of the total population. Of the total water production, 38% is accounted water. Given the projected population and the fact that the city is highly urbanizing one, it is likely that the city is a highly urbanizing one, it is likely that future water requirements will not be satisfied unless other sources such as rivers and springs be tapped to augment water supply sources.


1.2.23    Inferior Water Quality

As of the 2nd Quarter of 1997, water quality in Major River systems including its tributaries are generally inferior. BOD and TSS values of Manicahan, Cabaluay, and Merecedes Rivers barely met the DENR water and effluent quality standards. Should this trend continue and with the pressures brought about by population increases and indiscriminate disposal of waste into waterways and absence of a sewerage system, it is expected that the quality of water will deteriorate.


1.2.24    Soil Erosion   

As reflected in the soil erosion map (see Map IV-6, volume 2), the city of Zamboanga is experiencing varying degrees of soil erosion. Of the total land area, some 28,000 hectares or 20% experienced no apparent erosion. On the other hand, 32,000 hectares or 22% are categorized as slightly eroded; another 38,000 hectares or 27% are moderately eroded while 40,000 hectares or 28% are severely eroded. Some 3,000 hectares are under unclassified erosion. So far, the severely eroded areas are located within the steep and very steep areas. This reflects the denudation of most of the areas identified as watershed reservations.


1.2.25    Mineral Resources and Reserves

Zamboanga City and its vicinity is rich in metallic such as gold, copper, lead, and zinc as well as non-metallic minerals such as clay, cement, sand and gravel. This is evidenced by the presence of various claims and small-scale mining operations. Gold is found to be abundant in Upper Bunguiao as well as Curuan. Mineralization consists of placer gold along creeks and rivers draining the area. Gold panning is presently concentrated in the hinterlands of Manicahan River.

The Curuan placer appears to have been restricted to the river channel in the upper section of the main Curuan River but fans out into a wide valley flat along its lower course. Metallic minerals like copper; zinc and lead were found in the southwestern most portion of Zamboanga peninsula namely the Ayala district as well as in Labuan, Mahayag and Dumingag and also in Roxas and Katipunan. These areas are underlain by basements shists, turbitites, volcanic and molasses. The City is also rich in non-metallic minerals and rocks such as clay cement and sand and gravel. Most of the white clay deposits resulted from the alteration of alkali feldspar and micas of volcanic and pyroclastics. They range in color from white to grayish white to buff and are interlaid with individual layers ranging from a few millimeters to a meter or more in thickness. This clay is ideal for manufacture of ceramics and low-grade refractories. These are found in Upper Bunguiao, Culianan and Tagasilay, Zamboanga City.


Most of the the red clay deposits being worked out are in the Pasonanca, Mulu-muluan, Lumbayao, Cabaluay, Manicahan, Ayala, La Paz and Sapa Manok, all within Zamboanga City. This red clay serves as raw materials for brick and pottery manufacturing.


1.2.26    Natural Disasters

The occurrence of natural disasters in Zamboanga City is confined to seasonal flooding, drought and earthquake. Seasonal flooding is caused by the accumulation of rainfall run-off from the rivers and creeks and usually last for one week annually. Among the flood-prone Barangays of Zamboanga City are: Mercedes, Taluksangay, Talon-talon, Mariki, Rio Hondo, Dumagsa, Talisayan, San Ramon, Patalon, Daap in Sangali and Vitali. These are coastal barangays as well as those located along major rivers and creeks.

The drought-prone areas are those with rainfall less than 75 mn and an average dry month mean temperature of greater than or equal to 28 degrees Centigrade. Drought-prone areas include the following: Sinunuc, Cawit, Labuan, Sangali, Bolong, Panubigan, Curuan, Basagan, Betong, Buenavista, Tictapul and Tigbungabung.

Frequently, sometimes-strong earthquake shake Zamboanga City because of the City’s proximity to the CotabatoTrench. At times, these earthquakes result in tsunamis2 Identified to be tsunami-prone areas are the coastal areas in eastern part of the province where earthquakes of tectonic origin are observed to occur (see Map IV-9, Volume 2). Thus, Zamboanga City, and the entire province are considered susceptible to tsunamis. As per record, one of the strongest tsunamis that ever hit the Philippines happened in the southwestern part of Zamboanga on August 16, 1976 with a towering height ranging from 5 to 10 meters3.


1.2.27    Terrestrial Fauna

Birds found in Zamboanga could be grouped into endemic, resident, migrant, prohibited and regulated species. There are about 164 endemic species belonging to 15 orders and 43 families; there are also 71 resident bird species belonging to 12 orders and 35 families along with 65 migrant bird species of 10 orders and 21 families and 37 bird species that are strictly regulated. Finally, there is the Falco Peregrinus, which is classified as a prohibited species.

Under mammals, there exist 30 mammal species, which belongs to 15 families, and 4 species of reptiles belonging to 3 families.


1.2.28    General Groundwater Resources

The estimated groundwater recharge of Zamboanga del Sur is located within the Siocon-Quinipi-Taguite-Tumaga River Basin covering some 9,540 hectares with an estimated groundwater recharge of 204 cubic meters per year. The principal groundwater reservoir is located in the Miocene Limestone Formation and the Pliocene to recent Alluvium. The Pliocene to recent units contain aquifers composed of a sedimentary sequence of clay, san, and gravel, Limestone and organic rocks.

Zamboanga City is fortunate to have groundwater sources identified to be located in 13 barangays as reflected in the following table. Of these, 10 are noted as potable while 3 are not potable but are being used for domestic purposes. 







Potable for drinking




















Not potable for drinking





Source: NIA, Region IX 1995


As per report of the ZCWD, there are currently six groundswells operated by the WD with a monthly total rated capacity of 387,417 cubic meters.

Information of groundwater availability indicated that the coastal areas of Zamboanga City are potential shallow and deep well areas with depths of 18.17 and 48.21 meters respectively and static water level of 6.75 meters of the shallow well areas and 20.42 for the deep well areas. In Zamboanga City, the groundwater flow moves in a southernly direction with groundwater level expected to fluctuate in accordance with the rainfall occurrences which affect the recharge of the aquifer.


1.2.29    Water Use Regulation           

The Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) is one of those few water districts that rely heavily on surface water (Tumaga River) to supply the needs of the city. As of 1997, the ZCWD reports that are out of the total population of 338,035, only 186,089 are being served by the WD or about 48% covering some 30,638 connections. The combined total water demand for domestic, industrial, institutional and bulk is 46, 558 cubic meters per day. Per capita water consumption has been computed at 2.5 cubic meters per day.

Total water production is 79,920 CMD wherein 70,000 CMD is being sourced from surface sources, mainly from the Tumaga River with the balance supplied by the six- (6) groundwater wells owned by the ZCWD. Three (3) of the wells are standby wells used only when the supply from Tumaga is insufficient to meet the demands. Data from the ZCWD indicated that of the total 103 wells, 59 are owned. These wells vary in type from shallow and dug wells to bored wells used for domestic, commercial and industrial water supply including irrigation.


1.2.30    Coastal and Marine Environment

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – Region IX and the Zamboanga State College of Marine Science and Technology (ZCMST), note Zamboanga City for having one of the diverse and dense concentrations of marine resources specifically on the east coast where a current study is being conducted. The total coastline of Zamboanga City including its immediate islands is computed at nearly 396,684 kilometers using a GIS computer. (Map IV-13, Volume 2 shows the map of the marine resources in Zamboanga City.)


Coral Reefs

The importance of coral reefs to the country’s fisheries could not be overemphasized. It is estimated to yield 10-15% of the total yearly fish production, not to mention its other uses in construction, medicine and shoreline protection, among others. The table below provides the statistics on the average living coral cover in Zamboanga City.





Percentage (%)











In order to sustain the ecological importance of marine resources, an artificial reef development project was established in Zamboanga City. To date, there are 20 identified sites located along the coastal area of the City as shown in Table IV-12, Volume 2.



Mangrove resources are still steadily decreasing, although at a much slower rate than in the seventies and the eighties. From 1990 to 1994, the average annual rate of mangrove loss was 3,000 hectares or 2.4%. This is significantly lower than the average 4,572 hectares lost yearly in the eighties. Among the regions, Region 9 possesses the largest remaining mangroves in the country. The region accounts for 45% of the total mangrove areas in the Philippines. Table IV-13, Volume 2, gives the density of mangrove stands in Zamboanga City.

Remnants of old mangrove stands, dominated mainly by Pagatpat (Sonneratia sp.), abound at the coastal portions and few Rhizophora species in the middle zone. In the river zone particularly at the mouth of Manicahan River, strips of Nipa (Nypa fruticans) can be found. The total area of natural mangrove forest in the four communities of Zamboanga City is approximately 224 hectares. Nipa (Nypa fruticans) covers and aggregate area of four (4) hectares, which is confined mainly on the landward portion and in sporadic patches in Barangays Taluksangay and Manicahan.



The fisheries sector is among the most important in the Philippines, generating approximately 81.2 billion pesos in 1994. it is comprised of municipal, aquaculture and commercial fisheries. Among the regions, Region IX is the biggest contributor to fish production at 19% or equivalent to 633.04 thousand metric tons from the years 1990-1993.

With the promulgation of Republic Act 7160, also known as the Local Government Code, fishing boats of less than 3.0 gross tonnages are now provided with a wider area in which to operate. Commercial fishing boats are encouraged to fish outside the 15-kilometer area of the municipal water. Because of declining catch, and over exploitation of coastal waters, some of the commercial fishing boat operators are now fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zone and on the high seas. It is expected that this will reduce fishing efforts in coastal water.


1.2.31    Solid Waste Management

One of the more serious problems that the country and not only Zamboanga City is encountering today is pollution due to the improper handling and disposal of solid wastes. This problem occurs not only in urban areas where population density is high and human activities are continuous and intense but is also felt in the regional and rural areas. Large percentage of these solid wastes normally comes from the industries. Not all-solid wastes generated are collected properly disposed, only about 70% to 80% are collected and the balance is either left on the streets, dumped into storm drains, esteros, canals, creeks and rivers. Others are burned, thereby creating air pollution, or recycled by scavengers. Residential wastes, which are about 50% of the total waste generated, constituted the single largest source of solid wastes.



                        Solid Waste Generation          

It is estimated that around 350 to 450 cubic meters per day (m3/day) of solid wastes are generated by the City, out of this generated solid wastes, around 70% to 72% are collected everyday (source: ZC Public Service Office).


                        Solid Waste Collection and Disposal

Based on the statistical record of ZC Public Service Office from October 1996 to January 1997, garbage collected and disposal of per month by the City Public Services averaged 8662 cubic meters while that of the Private is equal to 12, 654 cubic meters. It is noticeable that the increasing amount of garbage collected every month indicates that waste generation has correspondingly increased.


                        Status of Existing Dumpsite

In the 1995, the City has identified its temporary dumpsite, which is located at Barangay Lumbangan and is about 10 kilometers from the city proper. The area, which is approximately 4.4 hectares, is located in a ravine. During the recent inspection of the said dumpsite in October 1997, the Barangay Chairman disclosed that the area is the lone dumpsite in Zamboanga City. The fear of the community living in proximity to the area is the strong possibility of ground water contamination due to high infiltration rate of leachate as revealed by the results conducted by the Bureau of Soils in the Region. The alarming level of groundwater contamination is quite noticeable as reveled by the Barangay Lumbangan and nearby barangay since large percentage of their drinking water sources are coming from deep well.


1.2.32    Drainage Facilities

The City’s storm water drainage facilities consists of open drainage canals and concrete pipe culverts on both sides of the streets. This network of canals and culverts discharges wastewater and storm water and run-off to natural bodies of water within and around the area. Coming from the north and flowing eastward is the Tumaga River. In the west is the Baliwasan River, while in the central area is the Sta. Maria River, and west Rio Hondo is a swampy area. All these serve as major receiving bodies for the storm water run-off of the area.


Sewerage System

The sewerage system consists of two pump stations and approximately 11.4 kilometers of vitrified clay collection pipes. The Sucabon Creek divided the sewer service area into East and West drainage basins. Wastewater produced in the East drainage basin is conveyed by gravity through the sewer to the east Pumping Station. Likewise, the West Pumping Station to the Basilan Strait for final disposal is pumping wastewater collected at the West drainage basin.


1.2.33  Squatters and Slums

The overwhelming influx of migrants and rapid increase of population in the City causes the scarcity of human settlement. For this reason, they do not have any recourse but to reside in an area that could sustain one of the basic needs of man-shelter. At present, the identified areas where the squatter communities are situated are as follows: Canelar (Kabisayaan), Camino Nuevo, Sta. Barbara, CDCP Zone IV near Fort Pilar, Aplaya, Rio Hondo and Sta. Catalina.


1.2.34    Environmentally Critical Areas

Environmentally Critical Areas (ECAs) are those areas with natural values so significant that, if at all, their development, utilization and/or conversion require great care or management control. Some ECAs may be natural while others may have been altered by certain human activities. Some ECAs will require intensive management to restore or maintain their ecological values.

The areas defined as environmentally critical under existing laws, rules and regulations are presented in Table IV-14 while Map IV-14 Volume 2 provides a map of location of environmentally critical areas (ECAs).





·         Geographically nearer to ASEAN

·         Proximity to BIMP-EAGA

·         Outside of typhoon belt/earthquake fault line

·         Well distributed rainfall and favorable climate quality water source

·         Presence of major rivers and tributaries as source of water for the City

·         Groundwater potentials of the area especially along coastal area

·         Rich in biodiversity

·         Presence   of springs and lakes as source of surface water and/or freshwater

·         Availability of necessary manpower resources

·         Presence of newly proclaimed Ecozones to spur development of small and medium scale resources

·         Availability of raw material supply for cottage industries (bamboo, sea shells)



·         Low productivity poor drainage/flood control system

·         Large scale severely eroded forest land

·         Poor solid and liquid waste disposal system

·         Non-proclamation of the other identified watershed areas

·         Incomplete river classification

·         Absence of an integrated solid waste management system

·         Lack of IEC on government programs (CBFM, SIFMA, IFMA)

·        Lack of environmental IEC



·         Tourism potentials (Sta. Cruz Islands and Sacol Island)

·         Agriculture/aquatic resources

·         Large tracts of upland areas for free plantation and agri-forestry development

·         Wide/long coastline for beach resorts and fishing

·         Ample space for industrial expansion



·         Illegal cutting of forest within watershed resources

·         Sever/large scale of soil erosion especially in steeply sloping areas

·         Illegal fishing and mining activities

·         Increasing urban blight (slum areas, squatters)

·         Uncontrolled extraction of sand and gravel along the coastal area

·         Poor sewerage system

·        Effects of El Nino on agricultural and fishery production






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