SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
16 March 2023 03:20:56 PM
The House Committee on Ecology chaired by Biñan City Rep. Marlyn Alonte on Thursday tackled House Resolution 376 proposing to revisit the P18.7-billion Laguna Lake Rehabilitation Project in 2010, including its cancellation in 2011.
Rep. Alonte emphasized that the committee is very interested in exploring ways to rehabilitate Laguna Lake and maximize its economic and environmental potentials as a floodwater reservoir and source of potable water, among others.
Sta. Rosa City Rep. Dan Fernandez, author of HR 376, stated that he filed the resolution to determine if a viable solution is available to rehabilitate and recapacitate the Laguna Lake.
Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) Acting General Manager Atty. Senando Santiago declared that the agency is not opposing the development of the Laguna Lake and in fact welcomes any effort to apply mitigating and remedial measures in significant portions of the lake with due consideration to the environment and balanced ecology.
He nonetheless manifested his concern over the 37.60-kilometer Phase 2 Laguna Lake Road Network (LLRN) Project currently pending with the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). He noted that some portions of the lake at Taguig will be reclaimed for the project, and that the developer will own this reclaimed area, "I think the LLDA should not be deprived of ownership over this reclaimed property. Title should remain in the name of the LLDA,” before proposing that “only the utilization thereof under certain arrangement acceptable under the law should be the triggering agreement on this.”
He told the panel that post-construction issues like road construction pollutants should be addressed early to prevent further lake destruction.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Project Director Shariff Hasim assured the panel that the DPWH is taking all the necessary precautions in this regard, explaining that the international contractors are also concerned about the project's environmental impact.
A Technical Working Group (TWG), which shall include the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), was formed to discuss environmental fees and to provide input on the Laguna Lake settlement issues. Rep. Fernandez will head the TWG.