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Manila Bay lighthouse may fall over, officials warn

The lighthouse of Barangay Pugad in Hagonoy, Bulacan is leaning noticeably and may soon topple over, officials warn. DINO BALABO

MANILA, Philippines - For more than eight decades, a concrete lighthouse at the coast of Barangay Pugad in Hagonoy, Bulacan provided a beacon of light to fishermen in Manila Bay.

Barangay Pugad councilman Edgardo Baltazar, a fisherman, said they noticed that the lighthouse developed a list a month ago. He warned that the structure may not last more than a year since the rainy season usually brings large waves that erode the lighthouse’s foundation.

Barangay chairman Ramon Atienza Jr. said they requested assistance from the Bulacan provincial government and the Regional Development Council of Central Luzon, which vowed to rehabilitate the lighthouse three years ago. They have yet to deliver on their promise, he said.

Atienza said the solar-powered light at the top of the lighthouse stopped functioning last year, probably due to a damaged battery pack or a busted bulb.

Another councilman, Alfredo Lunes, expressed the same concern and said the Pugad lighthouse may follow the fate of the lighthouse in Barangay San Roque, which fell more than two years ago. Scavengers stole its solar-powered battery pack and cannibalized the structure.

He said the Pugad lighthouse’s foundation is heavily damaged due to the constant battering of the waves.

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Hagonoy Councilor Elmer Santos said the municipal government has been drawing up plans for the rehabilitation of the Pugad lighthouse. He added that Mayor Raulito Manlapaz understands the importance of the lighthouse to fisherfolk.

Santos claimed it is taking a while for the municipal government to implement the rehabilitation project in relation to its coastal resource management program.

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