The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Friday, June 11, renewed its commitment to remove the water hyacinths in Laguna Lake by collaborating with nearby local fishing communities.

Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns and Head of the Manila Bay Anti-Pollution Task Force Benny D. Antiporda said that the DENR will continue its project, which started in October 2020, to tap local fishermen in addressing the proliferation of water hyacinths, commonly known as water lily.

“The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has a project where we commission the labor or assistance of our local fishermen to harvest the water hyacinths in polluted waterbodies,” Antiporda said during the cleanup drive in Binangonan town, Rizal province initiated by Rotary Club of Binangonan on June 11.

He added that the project provides livelihood to the fisherfolk and at the same time “gives life to the Bay.”

Antiporda, who also committed to supervise the project, was confident that since the success of the Boracay rehabilitation, the feat to address the water hyacinth pollution in Laguna Lake will not be of a big task.

“I personally commit that in the coming weeks or so, we will be here in this lake to clean up all the water hyacinth and make sure that we will prevent incidents in the previous years where this lake is all covered with water lilies,” he pointed out.

“We have rehabilitated Boracay. We are cleaning up the Manila Bay. Laguna Lake is relatively not that big. Why not, we clean this up, too?” he added.

Water lilies can be a nuisance because these allow disease-spreading vector species of mosquitoes to breed freely in the static waters. Their decomposition results in an obnoxious smell, decreases the clarity of water and depletes the level of dissolved oxygen making it unsuitable for human use.

The pilot testing for the said project was introduced to the local government of Taytay in Rizal province where the DENR also met with members of the Samahan ng Mangingisda sa Lawa ng Taytay or SMALT. ###