SAN PABLO CITY, Laguna –- The city government here supports the launching of the five-year “#Battle for Manila Bay” Rehabilitation Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as it also ensures the upkeep, conservation and protection of its seven famous lakes.
At dawn on Sunday, city executives, along with environment officials, city folks, volunteers and representatives of non-government organizations (NGO), participated in the massive cleanup of its famous Sampaloc Lake, one of San Pablo’s seven “wonder” lakes.
City Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) Ramon de Roma, along with Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Laguna Cluster A head Maria Lorilyn V. Manrique and Local Government Operations Officer (LGOO) Michelle M. Garcia led city folks and participants to the lakeshore cleanup.
San Pablo, known as the “City of Seven Lakes”, has been drawing tourists to its natural lakes that also provide agri-fisheries resources to the agriculture sector. The Sampaloc Lakeshore parks and leisure promenade is just a stone’s throw away from the city hall and the local government complex.
In an interview with the Philippine News Agency, de Roma explained that the city government has been addressing since 1992 the entry of invasive species and pollution in the seven lakes, which could affect fish species like tilapia and other native fishes that abound in these bodies of water.
“Ang pangasiwaang panlunsod ay bumalangkas nang isang palatuntunan sa paglilinis ng lawa na pinunduhan ng Tanggapan ng Pangulo noon, at ito ay naging isa ng patuluyang palatuntunan na ipinatutupad ng mga Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (FARM-C) sa pitong lawa (The city government has since launched its lake clean-up program which was funded then by the Office of the President, and this program has been sustained and implemented by the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (FARM-C),” he said.
De Roma said the Sampaloc Lake, where a peripheral road has been constructed on its shore for a baywalk and leisure park, is being protected by the city government through cleanup every Friday.
He said Sampaloc Lake, being the biggest and nearest lake to the urban center, is prone to abuse by city folks and park goers who throw their garbage into the water. Thus, the city government and concerned multi-sectoral groups have teamed up to undertake regular lakeshore clean-up activities.
Garcia, for her part, said the launching of the Manila Bay rehabilitation program is in compliance with DILG-4A regional memorandum circular No. 2019-1 on its collaboration and support to the DENR’s initiatives on environmental protection and conservation especially on the Calabarzon Region’s bodies of water, including rivers and tributaries that flow towards the Manila Bay area.
Meanwhile, Manrique said the intensified environmental clean-up campaign involves ridding rivers, streams, canals and esteros of wastes dumped by households and commercial establishments - including farms - to keep these from flowing towards Manila Bay.
“These initiatives are in pursuit of President Rodrigo Duterte’s directives to the DENR and local government units (LGUs) in adherence to the Supreme Court’s declaration of the writ of continuing mandamus to ensure the upkeep and cleanliness of Manila Bay,” Manrique explained. (Ruben E. Taningco/PNA)
Photo from larga-bista.blogspot.com/PNA