by Jeremiah Dalman
March 15—In celebration of World Water Day, the Laguna Cleanup Drive, with the theme “Nature for Water”, was conducted at Brgy. Tagumpay Bay, Laguna. LGUs and organizations including the Laguna Water District Aquatech Resources Corporation (LARC), Laguna Water District (LWD), Envirokonsult, Department of Education (DepEd), Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), and the Association of Municipal and Barangay Environmental Council (AMBEC) collaborated for the project.
The Laguna Cleanup Drive is part of LARC’s campaign entitled “Dalayday”. Nathalie Ross Boyles, Community Relations External Affairs Assistant of LARC explained that Dalayday was launched in an effort to engage more with the community. It is now on its second year under the project Linis Ilat wherein Los Banos communities are enjoined in clean up drives along creeks and waterways in the locale. On its second year, the project extends to include Bay and Calauan.
The program held before the cleanup served as avenue to discuss the environmental situation which precedes issues on current national and global water source. Seven elementary schools were in attendance as institutional representatives impart messages that highlight the importance of community participation in efforts geared towards cleaner water sources.
Hon. Jose Padrid, Acting Municipal Mayor of Bay, talked about a plan for implementing a compensation system for Bay, where citizens will be paid for collecting and turning in scattered wastes. Hon. Padrid said that at present, “it is still in the process of amending the ordinance”. Arnold Sampilo of the Environmental Army and a resident of Bay commented that this plan would be helpful to the community, but added that among others, the participation of nearby communities in proper waste disposal is of utmost importance.
There are 21 tributaries in total for the communities that pollute Laguna Lake. “Of this 21 tributaries, 14 come from the municipalities of Laguna,” said Melvin Lalican, Environment Management Specialist 2 from the regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Lalican further stated that only 20 percent of pollution at the Laguna Lake comes from industrial activities. The remaining 80 percent comes from household wastes which only reinforces the need for cooperation among communities. Boyles commented that indeed, the situation most needs participation from the people. “We can say that there is still a lack of information and awareness on the part of the community,” she stated on the point of emphasizing the need for information dissemination to engage members of the different municipalities.
The theme “Nature for Water” signifies the importance of collective action towards cleaner water resources. Community Relations and External Affairs Manager Anna Karenina Lim pointed out that it represents how people should work together to prevent water scarcity for future generations.
The third part of the Linis Ilat project will involve a tree-planting activity in Calauan on April 7. Besides these activities, Hon. Danilo Lanceras of the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) emphasized that these efforts should also translate to individual efforts for cleaner water resources, “Isasapuso ang cleanup, dapat pati sa sariling kabahayan.”