LAGUNA LAKE CLEAN-UP. Councilor Danilo Lanceras of Bay, Laguna leads the Laguna Lake clean-up activity at Barangay Tagumpay on Thursday (March 15, 2018) . He was joined by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Laguna Water District Aquatic Resources Corp. (LARC), government officials and students. (Photo by Zen Trinidad)

BAY, Laguna - Truckloads of garbage were recovered on Thursday here during the Laguna Lake clean-up drive initiated by the Laguna Water District Aquatic Resources Corp. (LARC), the municipal government , and various stakeholders.

Anna Karerina Lim-Puerto, manager for Community Relations and External Affairs of LARC, thanked the Bay local government and the participants for joining the opening salvo and clean-up drive at the lakeshore Barangay Tagumpay here in observance of World Water Day slated on March 22 under the theme: “Nature for Water”.

“We encourage everyone to celebrate World Water Day to express our concern for Mother Nature,” she said in an interview. “We wish to do it in our daily lives, not just in March.”

As water service provider, LARC wants to ensure regular and right supply of water by calling on public support to care for the water body and environment not only for the present but also for the next generation as their advocacy, according to Lim-Prieto.

“We already conducted clean-up drive in the creeks of the town of Los Baños last week, now we have this lakeshore clean-up drive here and in April, we will conduct tree planting in the town of Calauan,” she narrated.

An ongoing photo contest is also launched for students using their smart phones and the winning digital photos will be posted on LARC’s Facebook page on March 22.

Meanwhile, Bay Vice-Mayor and currently acting Mayor Jose Padrid urged everyone to be cautious of their own garbage at home since litters will all go to the lake which used to be clean and deep waters with abundant fish and shells to harvest several years ago.

He said that the municipal council would appropriate funds to buy all garbage brought by the pupils and students alike for proper disposal in their own municipal dumpsite.

“We will buy recyclable garbage brought by the students so that they can in turn have money to buy for their needs in school,” he expressed adding that their own municipal dumpsite is for the town use only as he refused requests from nearby towns to use it.

He said further that they would buy garbage retrieved from those taking shells or fishing out in the lake as part of cleaning the lake from washed out garbage.

In a related interview, Councilor Danilo C. Lanceras, chairperson, Committee on Environment, thanked LARC for their support and disclosed that an ordinance has been passed controlling the disposal of human waste where septic tanks will not flow into the rivers.

“I passed an ordinance, easement development plan, that controls the household septic tanks not to flow directly into the rivers and we (environment department) have to pump them out for proper disposal,” he said. “We want to clean the rivers, provide embankments, dredged them and turn into tourist attraction with floating restaurants.”

Historically, he said, the town of Bay was the first capital of the province where boats passed through the rivers from the lake and vice-versa for trade and commerce.

“We want to rehabilitate the three tributary rivers and the lake,” he stressed. “If we will not start now, time will come that our fisherfolks will have nothing to harvest and that is what we are coming up in the council, a development plan for the next 10 years.”

Joining the clean-up activity were representatives from the Department of Education (DepEd), Philippine National Police (PNP), University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) student organizations, business sector and civil society organizations (CSOs). (PNA)