Laguna De Bay: How To Kill A Lake
By N Mark Castro
When Philippine-based journalist Nancy Amelia-Collins posted a plea on saving Laguna de Bay, I did a hard target research to check what the fuss was all about. My scientific process involved Googling it to find that:
Laguna de Bay(Lake of Bay) is the largest lake in the Philippines and is just east of Metro Manila. The freshwater lake has a surface area of about 911 km2 (352 sq mi), with an average depth of about 2.8 metres (9 ft 2 in) and an elevation of about 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) above sea level. It is one of the primary sources of freshwater fish in the country and its water drains to Manila Bay through the Pasig River, both of which are equally dying as well.
Because of the problems facing and threatening the potential of the lake, then President Ferdinand Marcos signed into law Republic Act (RA) 4850 in 1966 creating the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), the main agency tasked to oversee the programs that aimed to develop and protect Laguna de Bay. Though it started as a mere quasi–government agency with regulatory and proprietary functions, its charter was strengthened by Presidential Decree (PD) 817 in 1975 and by Executive Order (EO) 927 in 1983 to include environmental protection and jurisdiction over the surface waters of the lake basin. In 1993, by virtue of the devolution, the administrative supervision of the LLDA was transferred to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) by EO 149. Government data showed that about 60% of the estimated 8.4 million people residing in the Laguna de Bay Region discharge their solid and liquid wastes indirectly to the lake through its tributaries.
And now, this once serenely beautiful lake is filled with these –
And not even Greenpeace can resolve this issue without political will.
And kids today won’t ever be able to see the beauty that was once Laguna de Bay.
You want to see what a real waste is like?
Go visit Laguna de Bay.
That’s how we blew it.