Napindan Hydraulic Control Sructure
LLDA, DENR Laguna Lake rehab plan a hypocritical solution – fisherfolk group
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. ###
Fisherfolk wants detailed Hungarian rehab plan for Laguna Lake
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.
Hydropower projects will kill Laguna Lake – fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) expresses its strong opposition to the plan of the Department of Energy (DOE) to put up six pumped storage hydropower projects in Laguna de Bay for its environmental and livelihood disaster that could pose to the lake.
The DOE over the weekend has accepted the proposals or service contract (SC) applications of six hydropower firms to use water of Laguna de Bay as power source using the pumped-storage hydroelectricity. DOE said the six projects would total around 3,000 MW and will be distributed in Rizal and Laguna sides of the lake.
PAMALAKAYA said the proposed hydropower projects would entail the total privatization of the country’s largest lake on which millions of 4.9 million fishing and urban poor families depend on its aquatic resources.
“We vehemently oppose this new face of corporate take-over that will further the privatization and conversion of Laguna Lake. The hydropower projects disregard the traditional use of the lake as a fishing ground and source of livelihood for small fisherfolk,”
“Aside from socio-economic cost, this project threatens the environment and aquatic life of Laguna Lake because it will more likely to pollute its water after using it as a power source,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The group said that since Laguna de Bay had been subject to conversion and the Napindan Hydraulic Control Structure had been built to desalinate the lake, various government and private projects have taken place and the traditional use of the lake as a fishing ground has been set aside. The conversion of the lake also causes the disappearance of several fish species and fish catch depletion.
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.
Murder of Laguna de Bay kicked off during Marcos regime – fisherfolk
Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Friday castigated President Rodrigo Duterte for allowing late-dictator Ferdinand Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) on November 19, saying the late-dictator does not deserve to be honored a hero.
The fisherfolk group said that aside from thousands of human rights violations Marcos had committed to the Filipino people during the dark years of martial law, Marcos started the projects and programs on fisheries sector that started the deterioration of our fishing waters, particularly the Laguna de Bay, which is the largest living lake in the country and is a home to thousands of fisherfolk families and poor residents depending on the abundant resources of the lake.
Marcos constructed the Napindan Hydraulic Control Structure (NHCS) which has a channel that prevents the flow of saltwater from Pasig River and Manila Bay to the lake, apparently to convert the lake from productive fishing grounds into permanent potable water for the residents of Metro Manila and become a cooling machine for the thousands of factories and industries situated along the lake.
However, the NHCS harms the residents of Laguna de Bay and put the lake at its dying stage. Naturally, saltwater is essential to Laguna de Bay to keep its ecological balance that gives nutrients to the fish and other species in the lake.