(Total hectares of the Protected Area = 2,246)

A. Historical Context and Rationale of the Protected Area​

The Lake Danao Natural Park (LDNP) showcases a mountain lake located at about 700 meters above sea level (masl) with verdant forest whose climate is comparable to that of Baguio City.  It nestles at the mountain ranges of Ormoc City which is approximately a 45 minutes’ drive from the city proper. The protected area, after so many years of interventions for conservation, protection and management was finally proclaimed under the National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS) Act of 1992 (Republic Act 7586) as amended by Expanded National Integrated Protected Area System Act of 2018 (RA 11038) by virtue of Proclamation No.1155 dated February 3, 1998, as an additional component of the System.

As provided by the DENR Region 8 files the following accounts are described:

The subject protected area has a remarkable past.  It has been occupied by number of families before it was spotted and assessed as a unique & fragile ecosystem to be set aside for management, development and protection as National Park by virtue of Memorandum Order from the Office of the President (Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos) and named as Imelda Lake National Park, later renamed as Lake Danao National Park placed under the defunct Parks and Wildlife Office dated June 21, 1972.

Following the 1972 event, was that on February 21, 1973 which was the issuance of Proclamation No. 1112 as amended by Proclamation No. 1412 dated April 08, 1975.  The same area was included within the more than 80,000 has. Leyte Geothermal Reservation under the administrative jurisdiction of the National Power Corporation (NPC). It was further amended by Presidential Decree No. 1749 dated 10 December 1980 transferring the jurisdiction over the area to the then Ministry of Energy.

On March 25, 1981, the area of 410 hectares which is claimed by the Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) as a released (A & D) area to them, was reverted into forest land category under the latest LC Map No. 2949. The Office of the President-Office of Energy Affairs thru the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), released a total of One Hundred Four (104) hectares within the 410 hectares for Integrated Social Forestry Project (ISF) in  Brgy. Danao Chapter, Ormoc City.

A year later, the management of the Park was transferred to the defunct Natural Resources Conservation Office (NRCO), now under the DENR, thru MNR Administrative Order  No. 47 dated September 14, 1982. Since 1972 up to 1993, the park , formerly named Imelda Lake National Park, (though not officially proclaimed  as a national park) has been managed  and maintained as a National Park  by the National Government including the 410 hectares reverted forest land which is located around and/or near the lake.

In 1994, by virtue of Republic Act No. 7586, otherwise known as the NIPAS Act of 1992 and its implementing rules and regulations, (DENR Administrative Order No. 25 Series of 1992), the Park became an initial component of NIPAS in Region 8. The site-based management of the Park is governed by a Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) which was created in October 10, 1994 with members ranging from 9 to 12 based on NIPAS, however, under the ENIPAS law and its Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) Dao 2019-05 PAMB membership ranging 10 to 18. In the case of LDNP the actual PAMB members is 18 to serve as the planning and decision-making body on-site of the PA.

A.1 Legal Basis

Natural areas in the Philippines with economic and biodiversity importance are the focus for conservation and management under the Republic Act (RA) No. 11038 or the (ENIPAS Act of 1992). Lake Danao Natural Park (LDNP) was called as a Protected Area pursuant to Republic Act No. 11038 based from the Presidential Proclamation No. 1155 was further strengthened its status and management as Protected Area by Republic Act 11038 (ENIPAS Act of 2018).

The LDNP was proclaimed under ENIPAS Law and further strengthened by Executive Order 111, thereby establishing the guidelines for ecotourism development.  This EO was issued for the sustainable management of natural and cultural areas at the same time providing recreation, education and cultural information to local and foreign visitors.  Having the community as crucial partners in the protection and management of the area, the enrichment of host communities and the satisfaction of visitors/tourists    are ensured.

B.1 Rationale

As a protected area (PA), the Lake Danao Natural Park (LDNP) exhibits unique natural features guaranteed to captivate the hearts of local and foreign tourists.  It depicts the bio-geographic zones of mid-mountain forest habitat and lake ecosystem of Eastern Visayas.  It is one of the famous attractions in the region owing to its 148-hectare exceptionally beautiful guitar-shaped inland lake with crystal clear waters nestling in an elevation ranging from 480 to 900 meters above sea level, evergreen mountain ranges with diverse flora and fauna, coupled with a cool and invigorating climate, serene and pristine environment (Bravo, et.al, 2010).

There is a pressing need to maintain the PA amidst rapid rate of natural resource destruction, for in the LDNP lies the essential ecological processes and life-support systems on which human survival and development depend. This gives credence to the World Bank’s (1997) declaration for the establishment and management of such protected areas being two of the most important ways of ensuring that the world’s biological resources are conserved to meet the material and cultural needs of mankind now and in the future.

Promptly sustained by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) signed in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the ENIPAS Law in the Philippines provides major reforms in the management and administration of protected areas in the country. Enacted through R.A. No. 11038, series of 2018, the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (ENIPAS) is the classification and administration of all designed protected areas to maintain essential ecological processes and life-support systems, to preserve genetic diversity, to ensure sustainable use of resources found therein and to maintain their natural conditions to the greatest extent possible. Among its salient features are the designation of buffer zones as added layer of protection and the recognition and inclusion of communities inside protected areas in the sustainable management of the resources.



1.1.1 The LDNP Profile: Physical, Biological and Limnological Characteristics

In this section, the physical, biological, limnological and socio-economic profile of the Lake Danao Protected Area is described.  The limitations on the availability, completeness, adequacy, and timeliness of the secondary data are a concern.  Nevertheless, the collection of primary data through KII and a rapid Lake Users’ Survey is an attempt to fill data and information gaps. Physical Environment Geographical Location

The Lake Danao Natural Park is strategically located on the northeastern part of Ormoc City within the Leyte Central Mountain ranges with coordinates E124° 42’ longitude and N11° 04 latitude. It is accessible by any means of land transportation, and it can be reached within 2 to 3 hours ride from Tacloban City and 30 minutes from Ormoc City. It is 19.6 kilometers from the city proper and can be reached by motorcycles, multicabs and jeepneys (Appendix Figure 2).

The Park is inside the Leyte Geothermal Reservation per PD No. 1112 as amended by PD No. 1749, now EO 223. It is bounded on the North by alienable and disposable land Block I. Leyte Project No. 10-E per LC Map No. 1650, in the South by a portion of the timberland; and West by A & D land, Block II of Leyte project No. 10-H, per LC Map No. 2510. Topography

The Park is characteristically alluvial flat land to rolling and steep terrain specifically in the southeastern and western portions of the park.  (Appendix Figure 3).   The slope ranges from 3 to 54 percent with almost 50 percent of the area having a slope range of 8 to 30 percent.