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 of the region”.
Consequences for the absence of a ZOMAP in Sampaloc Lake for almost 20 years:
- Lapses within LLDA to monitor and control the floating fishcages and fish pens in Sampaloc Lake over the years.
- Fishcages are scattered all over the lake, thus depriving and/or limiting public access to others, who might wish to use the lake for various recreational purposes.
- Many dilapidated fishcages are just left by their owners to float or drift when no longer in use.
- Fishcages cannot be monitored and controlled and unconsumed fish meal due to overfeeding contributes to lake water pollution as they accumulate on the bottom since the time LLDA introduced the Floating Fishcages in the 70’s to Sampaloc Lake and to Laguna de Bay.
- Other pollutants in the form of domestic wastes and trash are channelled into the lake through sewer outlets and careless individuals who do not dispose of trash properly.
If LLDA can not resolve what are seemingly small and simple issues of Sampaloc Lake, which has an area of only 100 hectares, how on earth are they suppose to ever cope with the problems of Laguna de Bay with an area of almost 100,000 hectares?