Lake demolition, clean-up drive nets illegal structures, water lilies

Illegal structures located within the 20-meter lakeshore easement in Lake Sebu including floating water hyacinths or “lilies” possibly reaching tons in weight, were removed by the Municipal Agriculture Office of Lake Sebu since the start of their operation last February.

Governor Daisy Avance Fuentes together with Sangguniang Panlalawigan members and provincial department heads and employees toured the lake last April 1 to personally inspect the progress of the demolition and clean-up drive.

Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO) Officer-in-Charge Siegfred Flaviano, whose office is the prime mover of the demolition and clean-up drive, disclosed that they plan to finish it by June of this year. He added that this program has a total budget of P250,000.00.

As of press time, PEMO has already accomplished about 60% removal of the illegal structures that include dwellings of illegal migrants, commercial structures of resorts around the lake and illegal fish pens or cages located within the 20-meter easement.

PEMO also plans to extend their demolition ten meters from the lakeshore towards inland of all illegal structures.

Likewise, commercial inland fish cage operators will be obliged to strictly follow the 100-meter length of their fish cages with 2-meter easement passageway in-between fish cages.

The fish cage operators presently occupy 70.99 hectares of the lake’s total area which exceeded the 10% limit of occupancy as stipulated in the Philippine Fishery Code.

PEMO will implement the 10% limit by reducing the total area into 35.4 hectares for commercial fishing purposes.

Lake Sebu is the tilapia and summer capital of the province.