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PIA Press Release

DENR-X conducts orientation workshop and stakeholders' meeting for Lake Lanao water classification

by Bobby Ilupa

Islamic City of Marawi (10 November) -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 10 conducted an orientation workshop and stakeholders' meeting for Lake Lanao water classification at the New Provincial Capitol gymnasium here yesterday.

In an interview, Dr. Sabdullah Abubacar, Director of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of DENR-10, explained that pursuant to DENR Administrative Order 34 (DAO 34), all water bodies whether inland or coastal shall be classified to its most beneficial use.

Until now, Lake Lanao has not yet been classified, he said.

"Through this activity, the Meranaws will be able to know the value of the Lake. They will be given the opportunity to decide on what they intend to make use of Lanao Lanao and protect it from all possible pollutants," Abubacar stressed.

After the public hearing, the EMB will conduct water sampling every quarter for four quarters at 28 sampling points within Lake Lanao to determine the classification of the said lake, he added.

Parameters to be used in determining the classification of water include the ph value, dissolved oxygen (DO), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), and total fecal coli.

After the water sampling shall have been completed in the fourth quarter, the result will be presented to the public, Abubacar said.

If the people decide that Lake Lanao be classified under class A, which means that it is potable water that needs further purification, the government and the people themselves will have to work hard in order to meet the standards set by the parameters mentioned earlier, he explained.

A resolution that contains the recommendation that Lake Lanao be classified as class A will be forwarded to DENR central office in Manila for consideration.

Once the recommendation is approved, the DENR Secretary shall issue a DENR Administrative Order classifying Lake Lanao under class A, he said.

All wastes from households, industries or factories will all be strictly regulated, once Lake Lanao is classified under class A, Abubacar stressed.

The Lake Lanao water classification is very important as it will help a lot in the preservation of a resource that gave the name to the Meranaws, meaning "people by the lake."

Aside from supplying 60% of the power needs of Mindanao, Lake Lanao is a source of livelihood to fisherfolks and source of drinking water to many.

The said orientation seminar is timely as concerns regarding pollutants slowly destroying Lake Lanao have been raised recently.

Abubacar advised the concerned public to take the necessary precautions before drinking water directly from Lake Lanao.

"Fetch water from the middle part of the Lake and boil the water well before drinking it," he said.

The said activity, which was attended by people from all walks of life including NGOs and the academe, was also supported by the National Power Corporation and DENR-ARMM. (PBS-DXSO Radyo ng Bayan Marawi) [top]

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