GORDON CALLS FOR DESILTING OF LAGUNA DE BAY
Senator Richard Gordon called for desilting the Laguna de Bay to prevent another massive flooding that Metro Manila and nearby Calabarzon experienced during Typhoon Ulysses.
Gordon said desilting Laguna de Bay would increase the lake’s holding capacity for rainwater and floodwater, which would spare surrounding communities from being submerged during the typhoon or rainy season.
“It’s about time that we desilt Laguna De Bay. Kung ide-desilt, lalalim ‘yan. Noong nananalanta ang bagyong Ulysses, umabot ng 13.6 above sea level na lagpas na sa maximum critical level nitong 12.5 meters kaya nakadagdag pa ito sa pagbaha (Desilting will make it deeper. During Ulysses’ onslaught, it reached 13.6 above sea level which is above the lake’s maximum critical level of 12.5 meters and that’s why it contributed to flooding),” he said.
Gordon said the bay should be rehabilitated and cleared of fish pens so it could be developed into a tourism attraction and an alternate mode of transportation.
“Kasi unang-una, napaka-polluted n’yan. Madumi d’yan so dapat ayusin na ang Laguna de Bay. Ang narinig ko mayroong USD30-million assistance na ino-offer ang Hungary para sa rehabilitation ng Laguna Lake. Napakaganda ng offer na ‘yan. I suppose na kay [Foreign Affairs] Sec. [Teodoro] Locsin na ‘yan at sa kinauukulan kung tatanggapin nila (That is already polluted, murky so Laguna de Bay should be rehabilitated. I’ve heard that Hungary offered USD30 million for rehabilitation of Laguna Lake. That was good offer. It’s now up to Secretary Locsin and concerned agency if they will accept the offer),” he said.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said his government has proposed a USD30-million assistance to the Philippine government for the rehabilitation and water treatment of Laguna Lake. He added a formal offer was made during his bilateral meeting with Locsin.
Hungary is known to have the expertise and capability in terms of water management and treatment. It has been credited for successfully improving water condition in Lake Balaton, a freshwater lake in the country’s western region and the largest in Central Europe. Lake Balaton has since been transformed into a bustling tourist destination.