"We have made significant and transformative movements" said LLDA General Manager Neric Acosta, refering to LLDA's accomplishments in the past few years during the LEAP Forum at Summit Ridge, Tagaytay city, November 23, 2016.
TAGAYTAY CITY. The proposed house bill to create the Laguna Lake Conservation Authority (LLCA), was presented during the Lake Ecosystem Assessment in the Philippines (LEAP) Forum last November 23, 2016 at Summit Ridge, Tagaytay City.
Authored by AKBAYAN Partylist Representative Tomasito S. Villarin, the bill was presented by his Legislative Assistant, Mr. Conrad Castillo, Jr. If signed into law, it will repeal the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) Law of 1966 and will eventually abolish the LLDA.
The said lower house proposal is set for its first reading, possibly this week, according to Mr. Castillo. But LLDA General Manager Neric Acosta, a former three-term Congressman of the Province of Bukidnon from 1998-2007, said it is just the solon’s job to file congressional bills, either new or amending existing ones.
For this proposal, GM Acosta said that it really takes time and effort before a bill will be passed into a law. “I’ve been there, now it is up to the legislative process, the committee hearings and the inputs of other house committee members“ said Mr. Acosta. “For me, there is no need to change the LLDA law at the moment … the need for now, is to strengthen the law”, he added.
General Manager Acosta stressed that the mandate of LLDA is very clear- conservation of the lake. “There are lots of factors, such as climate change and the balance of ecology and the needs of our economy, our congress should look at that also”, he added.
He also enumerated the accomplishments of LLDA- the establishment of the first and only green office building in the Philippines and also upgrading of its laboratory, which is ISO 9001 accredited.
However, he said LLDA is not a perfect organization and faces lots of challenges. LLDA currently has about 400 personnel, which focuses not only on Laguna Lake. Also under their jurisdiction are the Seven Lakes of San Pablo City, as well as monitoring of more than 120 river basins. He adds Laguna Lake’s surroundings is very complex, it is situated in the most densely populated, highly urbanized region in the country.
Regarding the reduction of fish pens in Laguna Lake, GM Acosta said it is not easy to implement. However, earlier this year they already dismantled some illegal fish pens. “There is a need consider food security and the jobs of people working in these fish pens, if we just dismantle them immediately, look at what will happen in the food supply”, GM Acosta said.
He is also concerned on the plight of the ordinary fishermen. “But this is just one concern that the agency is taking care of, we have domestic and industrial pollution, climate change, which is not just affecting the lake, but eventually the fishermen and their families themselves”, he added.