Philippines: Parties Sign Agreement to Rehabilitate Laguna Lake

The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) and the local government of Taytay and two fast food chains recently signed an agreement to rehabilitate Laguna Lake. LLDA General Manager and Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection Neric Acosta, Taytay Mayor Joric Gacula, Romeo Bacocho, vice president of McDonald’s Golden Arches Development Corp., and Leah Liza Junio, general manager of Kentucky Fried Chicken, signed the tripartite agreement.

According to Mayor Gacula, they are hard pressed in moving ahead with the plan of rehabilitating Laguna Lake because “biodiversity at the lake is (already) damaged due to the presence of invasive species such as knife fish.”

He added that “as of now Laguna Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Asia but is also the most degraded in the region.”

For his part, Acosta said the agreement will initially serve as an initiative to promote environmental awareness while Laguna Lake stakeholders are waiting for the approval by higher authorities of the proposed construction of “Underground Spillway or Underground Tunnel,” the structure that is seen to speed up the rehabilitation of the lake and to temper flooding in Metro Manila.

Acosta, however, stressed that “it is important to note that the spillway should be done in combination with other measures to control flood, such as the improved catchment management, creation of flood plain storage in the Marikina catchment, and the dredging of Pasig River, Napindan Channel and small tributaries surrounding the lake to ease the flow of water.”

”The flooding problem in Metro Manila and Laguna de Bay (LdB) Region does not only pose an infrastructural challenge but also an ecological one,” he explained.

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Source: PNM, September 17, 2012

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