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STA. CRUZ, Laguna – The government has been carrying out several short-term and long-term measures to uplift the living conditions of communities living along the Laguna Lake, particularly the fisherfolks, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Friday.
In an interview after meeting local leaders and the community here, the President said among these measures include the demolition of 30,000 hectares of illegal or abandoned fish pens that contribute to the siltation of the lake.
There is also an ongoing cash-for-work program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to capture and eliminate “knife fish” in the lake. It’s an immediate government program for the people living along the Laguna Lake, he said.
The long-term plan is the National Greening Program, he said. Under the program the government aims to plant 1.5 billion trees near the lake to reduce the sediments flowing into the body of water.
There is also a P5-billion Flood Control Program to protect communities located along the lake, the President said. In his visit here, he launched the P180-million flood control project in Sta. Cruz that will shield communities from floodwaters during the rainy seasons.
The government is allocating P780 million for the flood control projects in five areas along the Laguna Lake, the President said.
There are also jobs made available for informal settlers who dump wastes into the lake, he said noting over a hundred thousand families are considered informal settlers.
“Nagda-dump, ginagawang basurahan ang lawa. So maski anong dredging ang gagawin, kung hindi aayusin ang bumubuhos mula sa upstream at ‘yung nilalagay ng tao, useless. Ulit lang tayo nang ulit,” he noted.