LLDA assures adequate fish supply in markets near Laguna Lake

admin   •   March 18, 2017   •   4592

The Laguna Lake Development Authority assures the public that there will be no scarcity of fish supply despite implemented regulation on fish pens and fish cages.

“Ang nilabas na board resolution ay hindi zero fishpen policy, hindi zero fish cage policy. Ngayon po ay meron lamang tayong moratorium sa loob ng isang taon (The released board resolution is not zero fish pen policy, not zero fish cage policy. We now only have a one-year moratorium),said LLDA GM Jaime Medina.

The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) sees no shortage of fish supply in Metro Manila markets and nearby areas because aquaculture in Laguna Lake will not be totally dismantled.

General Manager Jaime Medina said, experts are now studying the real capacity of the lake in order to identify the areas that are feasible for structure like fish pens and fish cages.

The lake has a total area of 90,000 hectares with a designated carrying capacity at 10% of its surface area, based on Republic Act 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code.

“Yung 10% po na sinasabi sa batas, yung ho ay walang scientific na basehan para sa Laguna de Bay. Kaya ang amin pong sinasabi, … magkakaroon ng panibagong determinasyon ano talaga ang kayang i-sustain, anu talaga ang sukat na kinakailangan para maging sustainable ang aquaculture sa Laguna de Bay (The 10% stated in the law has no scientific basis on Laguna de Bay. What we are trying to say…there will be a new way of determining the actual size required to have a sustainable aquaculture in Laguna de Bay), Medina added.

The LLDA is giving the fish pen operators until March 31 to voluntarily dismantle their structures.

Starting April, LLDA will demolish fish pens operating without permits and violating the current rules. Exempted from the demolition are structures with an area of 1-hectare and below.

The agency is currently verifying  legitimate beneficiaries from among the list of 22,000 fishermen operating at the lake as they will be given priority after the moratorium is lifted in December.

“Kung maliliit na mangingisda na ang priority kailangang siguraduhin na ngayon na sila ay mas sapat na kaalaman. Sila ay may mayroong marketing strategy, at the same time ang pinakaimportante sila ay may pondo, puhunan para doon sa gagawin nilang hanap-buhay. Kaya pati yan sa ngayon palang ay hinahanda na ng LLDA (If the small fishermen will now be the priority, it should be ensured that they have enough know-how, marketing strategy and and most importantly, funds for their planned livelihood. Even these are being prepared by LLDA),” said Medina.

LLDA is poised to lose around P50-M due to the moratorium and cost of demolition.  But for them, what is more important is the rehabilitation of the lake which will eventually benefit not only the small fishermen but the community surrounding the area. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

LLDA backs proposed P609-B Laguna de Bay rehab project

Robie de Guzman   •   November 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) has expressed support for an unsolicited proposal from a private consortium to rehabilitate and develop Laguna de Bay.

LLDA General Manager Jaime Medina said the agency’s Board of Directors has endorsed the proposed P609-billion rehabilitation and development project “after months of review and evaluation.”

LLDA is an agency under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Medina said the endorsement of the project came after the spate of typhoons, the latest of which was Typhoon Ulysses that triggered massive flooding in the National Capital Region, Rizal province and other areas.

“This is a welcome opportunity as this will truly aid in addressing the Laguna Lake’s continual problems in siltation, industrial pollution, sedimentation, and lakeshore flooding,” he said in a statement.

Medina said the project proponent has been issued “original proponent status” (OPS) and that the project is now under review by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), through its Public-Private Partnership Center.

The consortium, after being granted the OPS, now has the authority to match better offers submitted by other rivals when a Swiss challenge is undertaken for the project, he explained.

The LLDA endorsement will be evaluated by NEDA’s Investment Coordination Committee to determine the reasonable rate of return and other parameters for negotiation, Medina said.

The decision on whether to approve or deny the proposal will be up to the NEDA Board, he added.

The rehabilitation project, which is proposed to be undertaken in a span of 5 to 10 years, includes the dredging of approximately 800 million cubic meter of silt and mud, assistance to affected fisherfolk and other stakeholders, and silt transfer and development of pre-identified catchment area to be done in phases while the dredging process progresses.

The unsolicited proposal will be under the Build-Own-Operate (BOO) scheme, which means that the proponent will finance, construct, operate, maintain and own facility and can collect fees and charges to recover their investment.

The government will provide the authorization and assistance in securing the BOO contract and has the option to buy the output or service provided by the operator.

The consortium is led by Taguig Lake City Development Corporation (TLCDC), with two big foreign companies as partners that have the experience, expertise and track record in undertaking such project.

The LLDA said it has sent a briefer thru a Memorandum to the Office of the President regarding the urgent need to rehabilitate the waters of Laguna Lake in order to sustain and enhance aquatic life therein; the critical need to increase and improve the holding capacity and water quality of the Laguna Lake in order to viably and effectively access the lake as a domestic water source, and the real potential of Laguna Lake and its outlying areas to significantly enhance water quality and boost socio-economic growth in the region and in the country.

The Laguna de Bay is the largest lake in the Philippines, with around 100 rivers and streams draining into it, making it prone to flooding. The Napindan Channel, through the Pasig River, drains the lake waters to Manila Bay.

Fishkill in Laguna Lake not caused by a virus — BFAR

Marje Pelayo   •   June 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 4A has reported that around 800 metric tons of fish died in Laguna Lake last week in the areas of Pililia and Binangonan, Rizal.

Region 4A Director Sammy Malvas clarified that the fish kill was due to the lowering of dissolved oxygen in the water and not because of any virus outbreak as some reports said.

“Kalimitan ang cause nyan ay iyong pabago-bagong weather condition natin. Halimbawa ay mainit sa araw tapos bandang hapon ay biglang bubuhos ang malakas na ulan, nagko-cause iyon ng pagbaba ng lebel ng dissolved oxygen, (Usually, the cause is the changing weather conditions. For example, the sun is up in the morning then in the afternoon, we have thunderstorms, that causes reduction in level of dissolved oxygen),” Malvas explained.

One of the viruses that can infect tilapya is the so-called ‘tilapia lake virus’ (TLV), a case of which was recorded three years ago in Bulacan.

There has been no recurrence of such incident so far according to Malvas, as they also conduct strict laboratory testing of fish seed samples before transporting them to other places.

“Nag-i-issue kasi tayo ng health certificate para doon sa transboundary movement ng mga buhay na semilya (We issue health certificates for transboundary movement of live fish seedlings),” Malvas said. 

The supply of tilapia at the Balintawak Market comes from Pampanga and Batangas and there has been no price increase. 

BFAR  assured that fish supplies in the market are safe to eat provided they are thoroughly cooked. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Maynilad reduces hours of water interruption in affected areas

Marje Pelayo   •   November 11, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Maynilad customers can relax a bit as the water concessionaire announced shorter hours of water service interruptions.

Maynilad said recent days of rainshowers helped in replenishing water supply in Ipo Dam.

“Twenty percent of our customers have interruptions of about 8 to 10 hours. But that is starting to reduce because of the rains that came in but we don’t know for how long again,” explained Maynilad President and CEO Ramoncito Fernandez.

Around nine million households in the West Zone of Metro Manila depend on Maynilad for water supply especially if water supply becomes thin during the dry season when Angat Dam fails to replenish as predicted by the state weather service PAGASA.

According to Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), they just limited the allocation so as not to deplete the supply in Angat Dam.

“Wala naman tayong (There is no) water crisis. We are just making sure that water crisis last March will not happen anymore,” said MWSS Administrator Emmanuel Salamat.

Meanwhile, the MWSS is pushing measures to protect Laguna Lake from pollution.

“We have just proposed protection and preservation of our Laguna Lake and declare it as a vital source of our domestic freshwater supply,” Salamat said.

So far, Maynilad has treatment plants that generate water from Laguna Lake and supplies to 310 million liters of water daily to its customers.

According to Fernandez, Laguna Lake can produce the volume of domestic water being supplied by the Angat Dam.

Laguna Lake is over 90,000 hectares in area which is larger than Singapore.

“To my mind, Laguna Lake is the biggest body of water that can supply Metro Manila and even the surrounding provinces like Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal,” he explained.

According to Maynilad, though Laguna Lake is used for fishery, it should primarily serve as a source of water for domestic use. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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