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Lawmakers urged to stop politicizing Laguna Lake rehab

MANILA, Philippines - An umbrella organization of various people’s groups called on lawmakers yesterday to stop politicizing the pressing issue of rehabilitating the Laguna Lake.

Pamana Lawa, voicing out the concerns of hundreds of residents living around the huge body of water which can actually be utilized to provide water to Metro Manila all year long, said dredging and clean up operations should begin now.

The group said lawmakers should stop trying to make use of investigations “in aid of legislation” just to engage in “political grandstanding.”

Pamana Lawa convenor and spokesperson Domeng Gonzaga said residents have decided to take it upon themselves to begin the dredging and clean up process using their shovels and boat paddles.

According to him, the rehabilitation of Laguna Lake was supposed to begin this month but because of politicking, residents are now worried that the rainy season would continue to pose danger to them.

“Government agencies have already announced plans. One thing is for sure, strong rains and heavy downpours will again mean that water will be flowing to the Laguna Lake,” Gonzaga said.

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Gonzaga said Pamana Lawa and its member organizations have decided to take the initiative of starting the clean up and dredging activities because of how lawmakers and foreign companies are trying to block the rehabilitation project despite its good intentions.

He said residents are denouncing how traditional politicians are looking at self interests instead of looking at how saving the Laguna Lake is the most important issue.

Gonzaga said groups from the Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon (Calabarzon) area will be joining the initial clean up operations.

Pamana Lawa will also be coordinating with factories situated near the Laguna Lake to monitor the illegal dumping of dangerous chemicals in the water.

Gonzaga said a tree planting activity will also be held in order to rehabilitate the mountains so as to prevent soil erosion that is affecting the lakebed.

Allegedly, fish harvested from the Laguna Lake are beginning to taste bad because of garbage that is being dumped into the same.

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