Floating solar project to affect over 800 fishers in Laguna de Bay — group

Ian Laqui - Philstar.com
Floating solar project to affect over 800 fishers in Laguna de Bay � group
This photo shows a Laguna de Bay.
The Philippine Star / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — More than 800 fisherfolk expressed their concern over the potential loss of their livelihood due to the construction of a 2,000-hectare floating solar project in Laguna de Bay, according to a chapter of fishers' group, PAMALAKAYA-Bay.

The group said that small fisherfolk have raised their fears of the solar project blocking their fishing boats and destroying their docks.

“Napag-alaman namin sa lokal na pamahalaan na hindi lamang mahaharangan ng mga floating solar panel ang daanan ng mga bangka, kundi sasaklawin ng proyekto maging ang mga daungan. Walang alternatibong nabanggit para sa mga apektadong mangingisda ng Lawa ng Laguna,” PAMALAKAYA-Bay president Alejandro Alcones said.

(We learned from the local government that the floating solar panels will not only block the pathways for the boats but also cover the docking areas. No alternatives were mentioned for the affected fishermen of Laguna de Bay.)

“Nakakadismaya na hindi na nga kami nakonsulta bago planuhin ang proyekto na sasaklaw sa aming pangisdaan, hindi pa isinama sa plano kung paano ang kabuhayan ng daan-daang maliliit na mangingisda sa bayan ng Bay,” he added. 

(It is disappointing that we were not consulted before planning the project that will cover our fishing grounds, and there was no consideration in the plan for the livelihood of hundreds of small fisherfolk in the town of Bay.)

According to the group, the solar project which was already auctioned by the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), will cover some areas in the province of Laguna, namely Calamba, Cabuyao, and Santa Rosa. It will also cover the towns of Bay and Victoria in Laguna.

PAMALAKAYA also said that the project will negatively impact the livelihood of at least 8,500 registered fisherfolk and over 2,000 individuals involved in aquaculture in Laguna province.

The group stated that it will engage with relevant government agencies, including the LLDA and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, to present its stance against the "profit-driven and destructive" project.

LLDA has yet to respond to Philstar.com's request for comment regarding the fishers' concerns. 

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