SONA ‘quiet’ on lake clean-up

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A lawmaker on Tuesday hailed President Rodrigo Duterte’s “concern for the environment and the preservation of the country’s natural resources” that he articulated in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

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Lito Atienza, Buhay party-list representative and senior deputy minority leader, however, said he was “very disappointed that he did not mention anything about cleaning up Laguna de Bay and all bodies of water of illegal fishpens and fish cages which he had ordered during his first SONA.”

According to Atienza, the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) claims to have removed more than 2,000 hectares of fishpens and fish cages from Laguna Lake but, he said, “this is far from the truth.”

The LLDA, the lawmaker said, has not delivered the President’s order and commitment to liberate the lake from these structures and return it to the small fisherfolk who are the poorest sector.

“They are all making money at the LLDA [because of]the continued operation of illegal fishpens and fish cages,” he added.

“Our abundant natural resources are enough to feed the whole world but right now, it is feeding only the wealthy and the powerful enjoying our waters,” Atienza pointed out.

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