Revise policies to save Laguna de Bay, government urged
Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - June 14, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Science and Technology-National Research Council of the Philippines (DOST-NRCP) is urging national government agencies to recalibrate programs and projects to address the worsening pollution and deterioration of Laguna de Bay.

The national government could lead this reassessment by providing funding for studies and researches on destructive fishing that continues in the lake.

“Funding in the area of policy assessment and researches on destructive fish species can go a long way,” Joselito Carteciano, project leader and co-organizer of Lake Ecosystem Assessment in the Philippines, said. 

Studies have shown that “fish quality is the recurring major issue of the fisheries sector in Laguna de Bay.” Among the major causes of the decline in fish quality are waste accumulation from households, industries and factories; settlements’ construction and urbanization, and climate change. 

Current studies show that the lake is getting worse despite measures being implemented by the government, led by the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), raising the need to review the extent of implementation of regulations, identify stumbling blocks, and determine proper courses of action to revive the lake in the next 20 to 50 years, the NRCP said.

“Another area where government can help is through information campaign,” said Marieta Sumagaysay, NRCP executive director. “We have a pool of environmental, fish, climate and agriculture experts whom we can tap to help in the information campaign at the barangay or municipal level.” 

NRCP has about 4,000 S&T researchers nationwide. 

“Laguna Lake is on the verge of a coronary attack,” said Nereus Acosta, former LLDA general manager, describing the condition of Laguna de Bay in a forum in November 2016. 

Among the problems besetting the lake are flood hazards, denuded sub-watersheds, conflicting water uses and deteriorating water quality.

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