Addressing root causes of Laguna de Bay deterioration is a path towards its genuine
rehabilitation – fisherfolk to new LLDA Chief
Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) dares the newly-appointed General Manager (GM) of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to decisively address fundamental problems besetting Laguna de Bay that result to its gradual degradation.
On Monday, Nerius Acosta has been replaced by Joey Medina as the new General Manager of the Laguna Lake Development Authority.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA said the new Laguna de Bay GM will be met with many challenges he acquired from his predecessor that needs to confront thoroughly like the effects of past government projects that contribute to the deterioration of the 90-thousand hectare brackish lake. PAMALAKAYA said getting rid of wide-fish pens in Laguna de Bay is part of the new General Manager’s urgent task to rehabilitate and revive the lake.
“The new LLDA GM should face the fundamental problems and issues besetting Laguna de Bay fair and square. Laguna de Bay and its fishersfolk doesn’t need another incompetent and mediocre LLDA Chief that will do nothing on his post but to let numerous destructive projects push through even under the tip of its nose,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The fisherfolk group is in support on the government’s campaign to dismantle vast-tracts of fish pens in Laguna de Bay that began this month. This is to bring back the common ownership and utilization of small fishers and residents on the abundant fishing resources of the lake, which for years have been privatized and occupied by private individuals and fishing entities with the small fishermen on the losing end.
But PAMALAKAYA is stiff on its stand that the campaign against wide-fish pens in Laguna de Bay should not lead to total conversion of the lake especially into eco-tourism and other money-making business hub.
“Eco-tourism is no different from fish pen invasion in a sense that it will deprive the fishers of their livelihood and will privatize the communal fishing ground of small fishers in Laguna de Bay. Any plan to turn Laguna de Bay into eco-tourism hub will be met with strong opposition and resistance from the fisherfolk and its residents. What the Laguna de Bay and its fishers need is a genuine rehabilitation that will bring back the abundance of the lake for the benefit of the small fishermen and the people who directly and indirectly depend on its bounty resources,” Hicap said.
PAMALAKAYA hopes the new GM could significantly revive and restore the natural wealth and ecological balance of Laguna de Bay. ###