In lake cleanup, San Pablo folk join hands to find long-term solution

In lake cleanup, San Pablo folk join hands to find long-term solution

With the goal of protecting one of the natural wonders of San Pablo City in Laguna province, at least 400 residents and members of civic groups picked up their brooms and cleaned up the 3.7-kilometer circumference of Sampaloc Lake recently. Fishermen and Philippine Army reservists, meanwhile, collected several tons of garbage, which were picked up by dump trucks in several trips. Marino rallied for support through social media, saying the initiative was the community’s response to the local government’s efforts to protect Sampaloc Lake. San Pablo is home to seven interconnected lakes—Sampaloc, Palakpakin, Calibato, Bunot, Yambo, Pandin and Muhicap. Sampaloc, located at the center of the city, is the largest and most popular. Tourists are drawn to a view that has Mt. Cristobal in the background. Locals rent out bicycles, while several stalls offer food and catering to joggers and families out on weekend picnics. “The keyword here is unity,” said Mandy Marino, one of the people who organized the community lake cleanup in San Pablo last month. See original article...
Philippine church groups fight to save largest lake

Philippine church groups fight to save largest lake

Faith-based communities and people’s organizations in the Philippines have united to oppose a US$2.7-billion-dollar government project that a church official said threatens the environment and livelihood of many people. Monsignor Jerry Bitoon, director of the Ministry on Ecology of San Pablo Diocese, said people have joined forces to create a “stronger voice” against the project. The project involves land reclamation, construction of a toll road, and a 45-km flood control dike around Laguna Lake, the largest lake in the Philippines located east of the capital Manila.  The freshwater lake has a surface area of 949 square kilometers. Monsignor Bitoon said the project was approved without consultation with the people, mostly fishermen, whose livelihoods will be affected. “The element of transparency was absent from the start,” the priest said. “We consulted scientists and environmentalists who said it may endanger the environment and the ecological balance of the lake,” Monsignor Bitoon said. Geologist Kelvin Rodolfo of the University of Illinois warned the planned 700-hectare reclamation would reduce the size of the lake and worsen flooding instead of mitigating it. Rodolfo, a member of the scientific community consulted by opponents of the project, also warned that the proposed dike could release a “catastrophic flood” if a strong earthquake hits the area. “Our appeal is for the government to sit down and discuss this with all stakeholders,” Monsignor Bitoon said. President Benigno Aquino signed on March 22 an executive order creating an inter-agency body to assist in the implementation of the project Ronnie Molera, spokesman of the Save Laguna Lake Movement said the local community would continue to oppose the project because of its “serious...
FSLF join the SELFIEs for #NOWPH Social Mobilization Project

FSLF join the SELFIEs for #NOWPH Social Mobilization Project

In response to the national concern and government implementing policies and programs for Climate Change, Friends of Seven Lakes Foundation (FSLF) join the social mobilization campaign #NOWPH: One Million Filipino Youth Voices initiated by Greeneration Philippines. The campaign aims to unite the Filipino Youth for the 2015 Paris Climate Conference in the call to prevent global warming from reaching two degrees Celsius. It also seeks to raise public consciousness on the science of climate change and on ways to lead a climate-resilient and climate-smart lifestyle. “We are encouraging every Filipino to take part of this action for Climate Change awareness and with our simple ways, we can show  that Philippines has its voice to share to the world.” said Bobby Azores, Chairman of FSLF. All we have to do is log-on to www.nowph.org, fill up the form, use our code “0033” and add your selfie to pledge your support to this campaign. he added. Republic Act No. 9729 or the Climate Change Act of 2009, mandated the mainstreaming of climate change in synergy with disaster risk reduction into national, local, and sectoral policies and processes, and creation of the Climate Change Commission (CCC), the government’s lead policy-making body on climate change. The Law was then amended in 2012 by Republic Act No. 10174 creating the People’s Survival Fund. Further, the President, also the Chairperson of CCC, approved theNational Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) that outlines the country’s adaptation and mitigation agenda from 2011 to 2028. In order to increase the level of understanding on climate change and the government’s initiatives, CCC has also embarked on utilizing various information, education and  communication strategies including the Greeneration...
LLDA continues to ignore Fishcage Zoning & Management Plan for Sampaloc Lake

LLDA continues to ignore Fishcage Zoning & Management Plan for Sampaloc Lake

San Pablo City, Philippine – Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) Resolution No. 9, Series of 1996, requires all lakes with floating fishcages to have a Fishery Zoning and Management Plan (ZOMAP) that will place the fishcages in a designated area not to exceed 10% of the suitable surface area of the lake.  Since 2000,  FSLF has been lobbying LLDA for the implementation of such a plan with no success. A meeting was held in Tahanan ni Aling Meding Hotel in San Pablo City, Laguna last December 5, 2013 where ZOMAP was discussed again and endorsed by LLDA for submission and approval along with the participating stakeholders. On this meeting, both heads of LLDA, Sec. Nereus Acosta and City Mayor, Hon. Loreto Amante was present.  Three proposals was presented,one of which is from FSLF. It was a proposal from Fisheries and Aquatic Management Council (FARMC) who got the nod of LLDA’s Forum moderator but was questioned because of its in ability to provide any valuable basis. Due to the expediency on the matter, FSLF concurred with the nomination, but under protest. At present, however, neither the City (as disclosed to us by the Mayor) nor FSLF has received any official communication regarding the ZOMAP as being approved.  Under RA 4850, sect. 4 (D) creating LLDA, one of its mandates is to “issue the necessary clearance for approved proposed plans, programs and projects within thirty days from submission thereof unless the proposals are not in consonance with those of the Authority or that those will contribute to the unmanageable pollution of the Laguna Lake waters or will bring about the ecological imbalance...
LLDA Ordered immediate removal of Green Filter System from Sampaloc Lake

LLDA Ordered immediate removal of Green Filter System from Sampaloc Lake

San Pablo City, Philippines – The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) has ordered the system removed or face an order of demolition until their technical team has evaluated it. Consequently, the Floating Green Filter was relocated on April 14th, two weeks after its original installation. It is now relocated behind the grotto in front of Sabang Hills Resort, also on Dagatan Blvd. The Friends of the Seven Lakes Foundation, Inc. (FSLF) has set up a pilot project in Sampaloc Lake designed to help clean our lakes, rivers, and ponds with a low cost, low tech, low maintenance system using indigenous plants whose root systems are known to effectively clean domestic waste water coming from a neighborhood community and provides oxygenation in the water. It is called Floating Green Filter (FGF) system. It is composed of floating bamboos with local plants (native species) and has a total area of 12 sqm. Designed to clean domestic waste water pollutants before they can spread out into the lake, the project was installed between Clydenjosh Restaurant and the Iglesia ni Kristo church, one meter away from a sewer outlet. This location was chosen to test the effectiveness of the FGF system for the following reasons: The pollutants and their source are clearly identified, therefore the effects can easily be measured; The site is in close proximity to the community who will ultimately care for the system making monitoring and regular water quality testing convenient for them. The is within view of passers-by and joggers around the lake and therefore serves as an exhibit where they, as well as students from various schools, can...
GenY spearhead Campus Journalism Workshop

GenY spearhead Campus Journalism Workshop

Last November 15, 2014, FSLF had a Campus Journalism Workshop for youth in San Pablo City. It was organized by FSLF and the Gen Y group. Gen Y is the youth media group of the FSLF which empower the youth to be engaged in community service and at the same time honing their skills and talents. About 40 high school and college students from various colleges and universities in the city gathered at the Tahanan ni Na Meding and spent the morning listening to our distinguish speakers namely; Mr. Nani Cortez , President of the San Pablo City Press Corps who talked about Basic Writing for news. Mr. Keno Moreno, PRO of  FSLF and “Papa Keen” to his listeners at 101.1 FM  talked about Gen Y and MoJo projects and lastly, Marielle Tolosa, who talked about Marketing to be able students understand the value of advertising a show to the target viewers. This is an initial offering of FSLF for empowering the youth as prime mover for environmental change. For 2015, FSLF is planning to produce an Environmental show that will be aired in the local cable providers in the region. See more activity photo HERE...