By Estrella Z. Gallardo
Laguna de Bay provides does not only serve as a major source of income for many households but a source of food for the communities surrounding the area, it provides multiple uses and services benefitting various sectors. The continuous degradation of the lake’s water quality endangers the well-being of households dependent on the lake.
Due to the lake’s multiple and conflicting uses, creating and implementing a sustainable and equitable management program for the lake remains to be a challenge. For instance, further development of the aquaculture of the agriculture operations in the lake for food security translates to limited fishing ground for open water fishery, which as a consequence, translates to lesser income for artisanal fishermen. Similarly, promotion of the lake as an ecotourism site can result in decreased aquaculture structures.
With these insights on Laguna de Bay, the project was led by Dr. Rico C. Ancog of the School of Environmental Science and Management of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB-SESAM). The title of the project is “Assessing the Implications of Various Resource Use and Management Options in Laguna de Bay”.
The results of the project were presented to concerned stakeholders particularly fisherfolks and aquaculture operators during the Validation Workshop held at the PCAARRD headquarters on January 29, 2019.
The terminal review conducted on January 10, 2019 aimed to gauge if the expected outputs of the project were achieved after implementing it for 18 months (November 1, 2017 to January 31, 2019). The review was facilitated by PCAARRD-Socio-Economics Research Division (SERD) under the leadership of Dr. Ernesto Brown.
The whole project team was also present in the review and was also joined by external evaluator, Dr. Rafael D. Guerrero III of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) as an external evaluator. Representatives from other divisions of PCAARRD also attended, which included Engr. Eduardo V. Manalili of the Inland Aquatic Resources Research Division (IARRD)
The formulated policies are being considered to complement the river basin management plan of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) and will serve as guides for an effective management of aquaculture industry of Laguna de Bay. (MegaManila Science Journalists)