A Life Source
The Truth About The Taguibo Watershed
THE BASIN OF LIFE: THE ETERNAL VALUE OF THE TAGUIBO WATERSHED
It was in 1960 when the Taguibo Watershed area became a part of the concession of Butuan Logs Inc. which resulted in the Philippine Army declaring it a “No Mans Land” in 1984. Eventually, 4,367.44 hectares out of the 12,438 hectares was proclaimed Taguibo River Watershed Forest Reserve under Presidential Proclamation No. 1075 dated September 4, 1997. According to the Cotabato-Agusan River Basin Development Project (CARBDP), the Taguibo River has the channel length of 35 kilometers from downstream to upstream. Mount Hilong-hilong which is Caraga Region’s highest peak is the watershed’s highest portion at 2,012 masl, shared by two other adjacent watersheds; Cabadbaran and Wawa. A young Philippine Eagle caught by a Kainginero in the uplands indicates the watershed’s role in biodiversity conservation as part of the Eastern Mindanao Biodiversity Corridor. It is one of the region’s most productive watersheds with the industrial zone at downstream, a quarry for sand and gravel near the Taguibo Bridge and prawn farms at the estuarine section. Underground sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks compose the geological formation of the area. Based on the Geo-Hazard Map, the area is within the angle of strike-slip fault located at the barangays of Anticala, Pianing and Taguibo, Butuan City and municipality of Magallanes, Agusan del Norte. Malalag silt loam which is the area’s prevalent soil type and is suitable for Banana, Coconut, Rice and Corn covers 3,485 hectares. Butuan loam covers 3,206.31 hectares and Hydrosol, another soil type which is suitable for fishpond and wildlife covers 1,176.25 hectares. Taguibo River follows a dendritic drainage pattern, indicating that the surface materials are homogeneous. In rugged mountainous areas meteoric water runs off rapidly into creeks and streams and eventually in Butuan Bay due to steep slopes. This gives minimal span for rainwater to infiltrate the ground. Thus, little amount of groundwater is expected in the upland, except in areas where limestone is underlying since high infiltration takes place. The vegetative cover of the area is characterized by second growth forest with an area of 1,042.07 hectares dominated by White Lauan and Bagtikan, to name a few. The brush land covers 914.70 hectares. Out of the 10,000 hectares of the watershed, 3,429.54 hectares are alienable and disposable while the remaining 6,570.46 hectares is classified as forestland. Forestlands are classified into categories like protection areas and production areas. The protection areas are characterized by high elevation (1,000 m above sea level) or steep slopes, sites with high erosion risk and areas along riverbanks. This comprises a total of 1,485 hectares, closed from production use. The production areas are those patches of second-growth forest but below 50% slope and 1000 meters above sea level, composing 589 hectares. A brush land area consists 227 hectares; grassland covers 641 hectares dominated by Cogon and Talahib among others. 148 hectares is filled with Falcata and rubber plantations. 62 hectares, meanwhile, constitute residential houses, barangay hall, bunkhouses as such. Roads and trails cover 22 hectares while rivers and creeks cover an estimated 27 hectares. Total cultivated area planted with fruit trees, coconut and cash crops cover 5,802 hectares. Watersheds contain one or more ecosystem and have multiple uses. The forest component performs its role in maintaining ecological stability, providing economic benefits to nearby residents such as food and wood, and lastly, as source of water supply for the downstream areas. The watershed management is a multi-sectoral and interdisciplinary task which requires the participation and cooperation of various stakeholders...
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