A BUSINESSMAN and environmentalist said Angeles City should take the lead on the implementation of environment programs to mitigate the impact of water shortage.
Renato “Abong” Tayag Jr., who is a businessman and environmentalist, said: “In order to become a fully livable, sustainable and climate-resilient habitat, Angeles City must lead in the advocacy for climate adoption and mitigation in the region.”
Tayag made the statement during a meeting with members of the Pampanga Press Club at Park Inn by Radisson Clark recently.
“Nobody will do this for us, not Jica (Japan International Cooperation Agency), not the National Government and Neda. Only us the residents here and consumers,” he added.
Based on its study in 2010, Jica stated that the city and other adjacent areas, including the City of San Fernando, will be facing water shortage by 2025 because of massive development and population density.
Tayag said they recently formed Abacan River and Angeles Watershed Advocacy Council (Araw) consisting of various environment groups, business and civic organizations, and other sectors to address the looming water crisis.
“We are self-appointed, so in-organized namin yung Araw although marami iyan no. Marami ang na-convince na natin including the local government,” he said.
One of the solutions Tayag cited is the rehabilitation of watersheds.
“Kailangan magtanim muna ng punong kahoy (We need to first plant trees) kase if you will notice kasama yung barangays Sapangbato, Margot, and Anunas sa watershed kasi sabi ng Jica to manage water dapat may slope ka,” Taya said.
The group will work on the declaration of the city’s watershed, which consists of some 400 hectares of land, as a protected area.
“We are advocating for the land use. When you say protected area, it will define land use, boundaries or co-ordinates. We are advocating that the land use will be limited to agro-forestry and eco-tourism projects,” Tayag said.
The environmentalist said that golf courses will not be included in the eco-tourism projects.
“Dapat ma define pa rin ang eco-tourism kase halimbawa, papayag ba tayo sa golf course? Kasi kapag ang gobyerno dineclare yung area na iyon, either through Congress or presidential proclamation, isasama sa Comprehensive Land Use Program ng mga local governments and land use,” Tayag said.