PCCI supports ban on fishing permits for Laguna Lake
Laguna Lake fish pens.
PCCI supports ban on fishing permits for Laguna Lake
(The Philippine Star) - December 31, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) is backing the government’s move to stop issuing fishing permits for Laguna Lake.

In a statement, the country’s largest business group said it fully supports the initiative of the government not to renew the permits to operate fish pens at Laguna Lake, which expired this month.

PCCI also welcomed the announcement made by the secretary of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources that the government would dismantle other big fish pens starting January next year.

The group likewise supports the plan to convert Laguna Lake into an eco-tourism zone.

PCCI president George Barcelon said the government initiatives would go a long way in preserving Laguna Lake which serves as an important resource in the country.

Laguna de Bay is a shallow freshwater lake of about 90,000 hectares. Not only does the lake provide livelihood to fisherfolks, it also serves as source of water for domestic use and for agricultural irrigation.

Data from the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) shows that 81 percent of pollution in the lake come from the domestic sector, while 19 percent are from industries.

PCCI director for environment and climate change Felipe Gozon, however, said the government should also look into the conditions of other lakes in the country such as the Taal Lake.

“We need to preserve these lakes as they are major sources of fresh water and are rich in biodiversity,” Gozon said.

The PCCI officials are urging the LLDA, being the water management authority, to come up with a master plan that would address domestic waste, urban run-off, and agricultural pollution.

Doing so would support efforts to reduce the fish pens and fish cages in the lake’s carrying capacity, ensuring sustainability of aquatic resources, they said.

PCCI said it would help LLDA formulate a master plan given its reach as the country’s largest business group.

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