Fishpen demolition won’t lead to food insecurity, conversion will
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Tuesday clarified that the campaign to demolish vast-tracts of fish pens in Laguna de Bay will not affect the food security in the country as long as it would be followed by a proper rehabilitation of the lake that would bring back its natural ecology.
The government through Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez is leading a national campaign to liberate the 90-thousand hectare brackish lake from private and corporate-owned fish pens. This is in accordance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to let small fisherfolk maximize and benefit from the lake, whom for years have been deprived of their communal fishing grounds due to fish pen proliferation.
Several fish pen structures have been ejected since January including the Gozon-owned fish pens in Cardona, Rizal measuring 100 hectares.
The fisherfolk group seen this campaign as a welcomed development for the restoration of Laguna de Bay for it will initially unwind the lake from further degradation caused by chemical-based pellet feeds use in culturing fish. Read the rest of this entry »
Fish pen moratorium a stepping stone towards Laguna de Bay rehabilitation
Manila, Philippines – Lauding the order of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to dismantle fish pens in Laguna de Bay starting this year, the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) said the next step for the complete rehabilitation and preservation of the 90-thousand hectare brackish lake is to open the Napindan Hydraulic Control Structure (NHCS) which is located in Taguig City.
The NHCS has a channel that prevents the flow of saltwater from Pasig River and Manila Bay to the lake to desalinate its brackish water to keep it purified for commercial and industrial purposes. However, the NHCS harms the residents of Laguna de Bay and the lake itself because naturally, saltwater is essential to the lake to keep its ecological balance that gives nutrients to the fish and other lake-species. In effect, the existence of the Napindan channel put the country’s largest lake at its dying stage.
“The Napindan promulgates flooding mitigation in the communities around the lake and in Metro Manila, but in reality, it aggravates the flooding in Laguna de Bay communities because it prevents the water from flowing out of the lake,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.