The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the country's largest business organization, is committed to help the government in its initiative to rehabilitate and restore Laguna lake to its “original and pristine condition” by reducing the number of fishpens and by managing pollutants.
Felipe L. Gozon, Director for Environment and Climate Change of PCCI welcomes the decision of the government to suspend the issuance of fishing permits for Laguna Lake. This move will help the government properly re-allocate the use of the lake according to its carrying capacity. This will also help the government get rid of illegal fishpens.
The lake’s aggregrate surface area is about 900km2 or 90,000 hectares. Of this, 10 percent or 9,000 hectares may be allocated for aquaculture, but in 2016, there were about 12,000 hectares of fish pens in the lake.
Gozon also cited a recent report published by the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) on Pilot Ecosystem Account for Laguna de Bay Basin which indicates that the major contributor of pollution remains to be domestic wastes.
According to the report, eighty one percent (81%) of the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) load comes from domestic wastes, while the rest of the load comes from industry (9%), agriculture (5%), and solid wastes (3%). The report also indicates that treating household discharges holds much potential for improving the water quality of the Laguna de Bay.
Restoring the pristine condition of the water quality of the lake will also help the local community increase their livelihood. Gozon recalls that there abounded in the lake freshwater snails (“suso”) that were used as feeds for the ducks that were raised in the backyard of the houses adjacent to the river. In addition, tasty fresh water catfish (kanduli) were numerous in the lake and the Pasig River.
Gozon added that business, being one of the stakeholders of the lake, behooves the PCCI to want to be part in the process of developing the master plan for Laguna Lake. #