Stakeholders push for classification of Lake Lanao-A A +A
Friday, September 14, 2012
MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur -- Local officials, civil society organizations and other concerned stakeholders called on the government to classify Lake Lanao as “Class A” freshwater.
During a recent public hearing for the Lake Lanao water classification, both the Provincial Council and the City Council presented their respective resolutions asking for the classification of Lake Lanao into “Class A.”
“Class A” freshwater can be sourced as drinking water provided they undergo some treatments in order to meet the National Standards for Drinking Water (NSDW).
Dr. Sabdullah Abubacar, regional director of the Environment Management Bureau (EMB), said Lake Lanao is currently categorized as Class C since all freshwaters not yet classified are assumed to be Class C.
The usage of Class C freshwaters includes the propagation and growth of fish and other aquatic resources, recreational water activities and industrial water supply particularly for manufacturing purposes.
However, results of the water quality sampling conducted by EMB-Northern Mindanao in 28 sampling stations show that Lake Lanao passed the Class A classification.
Both resolutions also called for the immediate implementation of all associated interventions including, but not limited to, the rehabilitation of the endemic species in the lake as the continuing degradation of the lake will bring suffering to communities relying on its bounties.
The Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) also appealed for the restoration of the lake as a source of potable water and ablution for the Maranao people.
The CBCS, a network of Moro civil society organizations, also moves for the improvement and protection of the lake against dumping of garbage and wastes.
Engr. Florencio Dominguez Jr., chief of the Pollution Control Division of the EMB-Northern Mindanao, said the classification is an important component of water quality management, which will guide what enforcement activities are to be undertaken by the National Government and the local government units to protect the lake.
Provincial Board Member Ansary Maongco pledged that the Provincial Council will make an ordinance for municipalities to properly take care of their coastal areas once the water classification is finalized.
Abubacar said Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order 34 provides for the classification of freshwaters so as to maintain their satisfactory condition according to their best usages.
Abubacar said the final water classification of Lake Lanao will serve as a guide for the enforcement activities of the government to stop the degradation of the lake. (APB/PIA)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 15, 2012.