Bacdulong Punong Barangay Ramon Kulan suggested that the five lakeshore barangays should practice organic farming so as to reduce chemical contamination of the lake. The Sangguniang Bayan of Lake Sebu and the Sangginiang Panlalawigan of South Cotabato must pass an ordinance on this or the proponents must work for the issuance of an executive order from the Office of Governor Daisy Avance Fuentes.
Municipal Agriculture Officer Zaldy Artacho said that there are lots of livelihood projects implemented for the affected residents, however, 90% of the fish cage operators in the area are not from the Municipality of Lake Sebu.
Atty. Marnito Cosep, Legal Desk Officer of the Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO) suggested that sub-leasing of fish cages should not be allowed and that a holistic approach should be implemented in the management of Lake Sebu and Lake Holon.
Mrs. Violeta Celebrado, President of the Lake Sebu Fisherfolks and Fish Cage Operators, inquired on the strong implementation of laws in the area if the proposed task force for Lakes Sebu and Holon will be established. “Ano kapag-on mga ma-implement (ang mga laye) diri sa Lake Sebu kung ma-establish ang task force?”, asked Mrs. Celebrado.
Other suggestions include the establishment of a septage treatment plant for Lake Sebu and the strict implementation of Republic Act No. 8550, otherwise known as the Fisheries Code of the Philippines of 1998, as amended by R.A. 10654. “On behalf of the T’bolis, i-implement natin what is in the law which is the 20-meter easement,” appealed Mrs. Jenita Eko, Chairperson of the Lake Sebu Indigenous Women Weavers Association Inc. (LASIWWAI).
In his message, DENR XII Regional Director Nilo B. Tamoria called on the Lake Sebu stakeholders to be involved in conserving and protecting the waterbody. “Bilang mga stakeholders, lahat tayo ay may nakataya sa lawa na ito. Kung mawawala ito, pareho po tayong magsa-suffer,” Dir. Tamoria said.
The whole program which lasted for more or less six hours was attended by some 130 participants representing the resort owners, people’s organizations, the local government in all levels, the national government agencies, and the advisers and members of the Lake Sebu National High School Youth Wetland Savers Organization. (MCLocsin/DENR South Cotabato)