Laguna de Bay

Maynilad slammed for exploiting lake-water of Laguna de Bay

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Maynilad slammed for exploiting lake-water of Laguna de Bay

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Laguna de Bay

Manila, Philipines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday accused the Maynilad Water Services Inc. (MWSI) for raking profit out of the 90-thousand hectare Laguna de Bay that is primarily source of livelihood of more than 14 million of fisherfolk and residents along the country’s largest lake.

Through its filtration facility located in Putatan, Muntinlupa City, the MWSI has been extracting 150 million liters per day of potable water supplying to more than 1 million of its customers in the Western part of National Capital Region (NCR) including the cities of Makati, Pasay, Paranaque, Las Pinas, and Muntinlupa; as well as towns of Bacoor, Cavite City, Imus, Kawit, Rosario, and Noveleta in Cavite province.

The group said MWSI abstraction of lake water is among the many corporate activities that gradually destroy the ecological balance and nature of Laguna de Bay, adversely affecting the livelihood of small-fisherfolk.

Maynilad greedily consumes the water of Laguna de Bay for its super profit at the cost of productive fishing grounds of millions of small-fisherfolk and people engaged in fish culture activities,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

The group also said MWSI is putting the lives of its millions of customers at stake, as the lake water of Laguna de Bay is categorized as Class-C water which means it is only suitable for fishing and recreational use and not for drinking purpose.

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LLDA, DENR Laguna Lake rehab plan a hypocritical solution – fisherfolk group

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LLDA, DENR Laguna Lake rehab plan a hypocritical solution – fisherfolk groupIMG_20170213_103808.jpg

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Sunday dismissed the government’s rehabilitation plan in Laguna de Bay which is only to strictly implement sewage treatment facilities of thousands of industries situated along the lake.

In a hearing deliberation regarding Laguna Lake rehabilitation held in the House of Representatives last week, officials of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) claimed that among their long-term solution on the deteriorating Laguna de Bay is to strictly enforce the effluent standards for wastewater discharge, which means factories will still be able to discharge toxic chemical wastes into the lake as long as they comply with the policy.

For its part, PAMALAKAYA lambasted the LLDA, an attached agency of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for overlooking on the real issue on why the Laguna de Bay has been deteriorating, saying any solution proposed by the LLDA and DENR would always remain futile if they fail to tackle the issue of the Napindan Hydraulic Control Structure (NHCS), a flood control structure located at Napindan Channel in Taguig, City.

Napindan Channel is the only outlet of the lake to Manila Bay, but since the construction of the NCHS, saltwater from Manila Bay has been blocked from entering the Laguna de Bay, causing the 90-thousand hectare brackish lake to gradually deteriorate.

Saltwater is highly essential to Laguna de Bay because first and foremost, it is a brackish lake that is basically a mixture of freshwater and saltwater. So preventing the entry of saltwater into the lake effectively changes its ecological balance and poses adverse effects to its aquatic ecosystem. Concrete example on the negative impacts of the Napindan structure is the proliferation of invasive fish species in the lake such as the snake turtle, knife fish, and janitor fish; all of these impair the fishing activities of small-fisherfolk,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement, noting that around 20 fish species no longer exist in the lake since the construction of the NHCS in 1983.

The group said however strict the LLDA would impose the effluent standards, as long as thousands of small and big-time enterprises consistently use the water of Laguna de Bay for their cooling machines, the lake would still remain polluted as ever.

We are unbent from our position that the real and comprehensive solution to rehabilitate the dying Laguna de Bay is to let saltwater mingle into its waters by permanently opening the Napindan Hydraulic Control Structure. We challenge both the DENR and LLDA, open the NHCS in a period of not less than 6 months and let them observe how the lake will return to its bountiful stage and traditional fish species live in prosper,” ended Hicap. ###

Laguna Lakeshore Road Project nixed

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Laguna Lakeshore Road Project nixedIMG_1008

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) together with its ally environmental group Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM) oppose the Laguna Lakeshore Road Network Project, a proposed road project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that would connect Metro Manila to key provincial areas situated along the Laguna de Bay.

The P50-billion road project, according to DPWH, would span 90 kilometers and will link Bicutan in Taguig City to Los Banos, Laguna and several parts of the Rizal province. Its implementation period will start from 2018 to 2026.

For their part, PAMALAKAYA and SLLM said in a joint statement that the road project is a pretext to the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike Project (LLEDP), a P122.8-billion privatization project that was opposed and thwarted by the fisherfolk, environmentalists, and residents of Laguna de Bay during the term of then-President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino for its disastrous effects to the environment and the fishers.

The newly-proposed road project in Laguna Lake is nothing but a government’s ploy to complete its longstanding LLEDP dream. Because the LLEDP has been widely exposed to the public of its catastrophic effect to the environment and livelihood of the fisherfolk, the government comes up with a new, different name to pacify the outrage of the people,”

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Proliferation of Hyacinth in Laguna Lake caused by lack of salt water – fisherfolk group

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Proliferation of Hyacinth in Laguna Lake caused by lack of salt water – fisherfolk

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Laguna de Bay infested w/ water hyacinth

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Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Sunday blamed the excessive proliferation of water hyacinth in Laguna de Bay to the Napindan Hydraulic Control Structure (NHCS) in Taguig City that prevents the entry of salt water into the 90-thousand hectare brackish lake.

Towns of Binangonan and Cardona in the province of Rizal are now heavily surrounded by water hyacinths due to the “amihan” or northeast monsoon, affecting the waterways of thousands of fisherfolk who strive to sail out of the lake to do fishing activities.

PAMALAKAYA said saltwater that came from Manila Bay via Pasig River is essential to Laguna de Bay because it serves as nutrients to maintain the lake’s ecological balance and brackish water by nature is a combination of fresh and saltwater.

Since the construction of the Napindan, various pests thrive in the lake, including water hyacinths, snake turtle, knife fish, and janitor fish. All these affect the livelihood of small fisherfolk because predator species such as knife fish and snake turtle prey on small fish preventing them to grow; while the water hyacinths obstruct the movement of fishing boats,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

The group urged the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to mobilize rehabilitation funds to support the affected fisherfolk in Laguna de Bay plagued by the water hyacinths.

Moreover, PAMALAKAYA reiterated its call to permanently open the Napindan structure and let Manila Bay and Laguna Lake waters mingle to rehabilitate the degrading lake and bring back its natural abundance. ###

Fisherfolk slams CA-ruling on Laguna Lake fishpens

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Fisherfolk slams CA-ruling on Laguna Lake fishpensimg_20170213_103812

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Sunday slams the Court of Appeals (CA) over its decision to abort the government’s campaign against vast-tracts of fishpens in the 90-thousand hectare Laguna de Bay, saying the decision is a complete turnaround on the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to open the biggest lake to small-fisherfolk.

Based on the report of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), at least 1,600 hectares of privately-owned fishpens have been demolished since the government launched an unprecedented campaign against wide fishpens in Laguna de Bay last year to pave way for the restoration of the polluted lake and bring back the traditional common use of its fishing waters to small-fisherfolk.

We are enraged by the treacherous ruling of the Court of Appeals, the Laguna Lake fisherfolk have been looking forward for the complete clearing of fishpens in the lake. For years, the Laguna de Bay have been occupied by wide fishpens owned by fishing corporations and private individuals including ex-military generals and local politicians. The CA-ruling shows that vested interest of few giant fishing firms and individuals prevail over the collective clamor of fisherfolk for their right to fishing grounds,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement, also blaming the proliferation of fishpens for the pollution of the lake because it uses chemical based feeds to culture fish.

The group also lashed out at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its attached agency, the LLDA for failing to uphold the campaign that was started by former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez.

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Fisherfolk wants detailed Hungarian rehab plan for Laguna Lake

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Manila, Philippines – The national fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Tuesday urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) to release into public the complete plan of Hungarian government to rehabilitate the Laguna de Bay by providing P30 billion loan.

The DA will secure the P30-billion loan where bulk of the total amount or about P20 billion will be allocated for the rehabilitation of Laguna de Bay while the remaining P10 billion will be invested for the rubber plant in Mindanao.

In a statement, PAMALAKAYA said they want to acquire the detailed rehabilitation scheme of the Hungarian government in partnership with the DA so the group could study the plan.

The group also warns to spare fishing communities into the cleanup drive, as the government always blames the pollution of the lake to the residents and fishing communities.

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Fisherfolk slams 2018 BFAR budget for aquaculture

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Fisherfolk slams 2018 BFAR budget for aquaculture

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Aquaculture farms | Photo by IRD

Manila, Philippines – Questioning why the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on its proposed 2018 budget parcels out fund for aquaculture program, the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) said this questionable allocation is highly alarming and deserves a thorough scrutiny.

BFAR will get P5.9-billion budget next year, a 10% lower than the 2017 budget. P687.7-million of the said budget will be allotted for aquaculture program.

We want an explanation from the bureau of fisheries on why would they allot such huge chunk of their one-year budget to aquaculture. Will they invest their agency to this venture that will deprive municipal fisherfolk of their communal fishing grounds and facilitate the pollution of our seas? This budget could be used to other programs like mechanization and improvement of fishing technologies and equipments of small fisherfolk instead of using it for the bureau’s income generating profit,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

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