Laguna Lake must be dredged now, insists Gov
Calamba (7 October) -- Laguna Gov. Teresita S. Lazaro reiterated her call to immediately dredge Laguna de Bay in order to address flooding which has affected the province's coastal communities since the onslaught of typhoon Ondoy two weeks ago.
This was her message to her fellow employees during the Monday flag raising ceremony that was held at the Laguna Cultural Center in the capital town Sta. Cruz. It may be recalled that Ondoy's heavy downpour is equivalent to one month's rainfall causing the lake to overflow.
The lady governor said that dredging was her advice to LLDA (Laguna Lake Development Authority) Gen. Manager Edgardo Manda long before the calamity. She stressed that by dredging, flood waters will slowly recede because the lake is now shallow due to heavy siltation, erosion, and pollution. She attributed this to population encroachment along the shores which suffocated the lake. Laguna de Bay's coast covers not only Laguna's 20 municipalities and 2 cities but also the southern part of Rizal province and Eastern Metro Manila.
Most of the residents along the shores have evacuated and it will take a while before the situation returns to normal. With this predicament, Laguna de Bay's coast has become "waterworld". Experts say that flood waters will probably remain until the end of the year hence, Gov. Lazaro is appealing to everyone's active involvement to help and assist the displaced Lagunenses. As of the moment (as of October 5, 2009); 32,150 pack of goods from the local and national governments as well as from the NGO's (Non-Government Organizations), various TV networks, and individuals have been distributed already.
Based on the PDCC's (Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council) report as of October 5, 2009; there are still 760,519 affected individuals from 151,302 affected families. There are also 119,146 individuals from 23,480 families that are still in the 192 evacuation centers. All in all, a total of 238 barangays from 18 municipalities and 2 cities are still affected. Ondoy left 945 totally damaged houses as well as 2,932 partially damaged homes. It also caused 27 deaths, 15 injuries, and 4 missing in Laguna. (pio/pia4a) [top]