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Article review

The Administrative Performance of the Laguna Lake Development Authority on
the Small Lakes of the Laguna Lake Development Authority on the Small Lakes of
the Laguna Lake de Bay Region, Philippines.
An Article Review by
In partial fulfillment of the requirements in Fisheries Sector Management (MFM 602)
Submitted to
The Administrative Performance of the Laguna Lake Development Authority on
the Small Lakes of the Laguna Lake Development Authority on the Small Lakes of
the Laguna Lake de Bay Region, Philippines.
The title of the article is The Administrative Performance of the Laguna Lake
Development Authority (LLDA) on the small lakes of Laguna de Bay Region, Philippines
which is Published in the 4th issue of the 19th Volume of the Asia- Pacific Social Science
Review. The article was written by Bing Baltazar C. Brillo, Rolando T. Bello and Evilie
Serrano. This research aimed to evaluate the performance of Laguna Lake
Development Authority on the small lakes of the Laguna de Bay Region, Philippines
namely Sampaloc Lake, Palakpakin Lake, Calibato Lake, Bunot Lake, Yambo Lake,
Tadlac Lake, Pandin Lake and Mohicap Lake. These lakes were under administrative
jurisdiction of LLDA in 1983 by virtue of Administrative order 927, in addition to its
original mandate as stated in the Laguna Lake Development Act of 1966. Also, LLDA is
a quasi-government agency that leads, promotes and accelerates sustainable
development of Laguna de Bay and it watersheds and surrounding urban areas amidst
the multiple political jurisdictions. The agency also has regulatory and enforcement
functions are carried out with provisions on environmental management and control,
preservation of the quality of ecological systems and prevention of undue ecological
disturbance and pollution. Small lakes in this research work were defined as an inland
body of water that is permanent in nature with a surface area of at least one hectare but
not more than 200 hectares. Also, the concept of good Lake Governance was broadly
defined as the administrative arrangements (formal and informal) in place that impact
the small lakes management, utilization, conservation and development.
The Administrative performance of LLDA in these eight lakes was assessed in a case
study approach. The data for were gathered through interviews, site surveys, technical
reports and secondary sources. The data are systematically analyzed in a content
system analysis attack and were outlined using the deemed basic Administrative criteria
in the sound management of small lakes in the Philippines specifically: (1) having an
approved Management and Development Plan (MDP); (2) regulating fish pens and
cages (pursuant to section 51 of Republic act 8550 as amended by Republic Act 10654)
(3) implementation of shoreline easement (enforcing the 20 meter easement rule
pursuant to section 51 of PD 1067 otherwise known as the Water Code of the
Philippines) and (4) conducting maintenance activities, specifically water quality
analysis, clean-up operations and fingerling dispersal. These criteria were developed
based on the lessons learned from a series of exploratory case studies conducted on
small lakes in the Philippines over the years. The discussion and the results of the study
are delineated as follows; first, the mandate of LLDA and the administration of the eight
crater lakes of the Laguna de Bay Region; Secondly the status of the eight smaller
lakes and finalized by a conclusion.
The first criteria for evaluation are having a Management and Development Plan (MDP).
The importance of having an MDP for a Lake or any resource in particular is that it
provides clear directions to policies, programs and other initiatives to address constant
issues on the utilization of the resources. The absence of this guiding tool was
considered to be the most pressing in the eight crater lakes by the administrative
community stakeholders. The formulation of the MDP has been identified as the most
critical problems in four out of eight lakes. LLDA through board resolution No.: 464 in
2014 provides framework for the formulation of MDPs. Pandin Lake, Sampalok Lake
and Yambok had there MDPs approved by the LLDA in 2015. While Tadlac Lake
already had an approved MDP in 2008 but it was officially launched in 2015 while Bunot
Lake, Palakpakin Lake, Calibat Lake and Mohicap Lake still doesn’t have an approved
MDP. The four lakes with MDPs are the ones who were more precarious conditions in
terms of water quality monitoring and cage aquaculture regulation. However, results of
the current study shows that these four lakes have a common problem in the
implantation of their lake management plan particularly in obtaining the needed funds to
get the plan started. LLDA did not took the lead role in sourcing out funds to finance
basic plans resulting to non- implementation of MDPs. Insufficient funding leads to nonremoval of remaining illegal cage structures, proper zoning and relocation of informal
settlers in the easement zones and construction of key infrastructures.
The second criteria for evaluation is the enforcement of section 51 of the Repubic act
8550 as amended by Republic 10654 which states that not over ten percent of the
suitable water surface of all lakes and rivers should be allotted for aquaculture purposes
like fish pens, fish cages and Fish traps. Only Pandin Lake seems to abide with
regulatory clause together with Tadlac Lake that does not have any aquaculture
operations. Aquaculture operations were completely eradicated in Tadlac Lake. Ever
since the massive fishkill in 1999 which united the stakeholders in appealing to the fish
farm owners to halt operations to let the lake recuperate. With the availability of area in
Laguna de Bay, cage operations in Tadlac Lake was transferred there and the fish cage
operators voluntarily dismantled their cages. The rest of the fish cages were poorly
implementing the regulatory clause.
In terms of easement regulation, Yambo Lake, Pandin Lake and Mohicap Lake can be
classified as abiding in this criterion. These three lakes currently have the minimal
presence of Illegal structures in the Lake which is greatly to the vigilance of the
community stakeholders and the general topography of the lakes which made them
sometimes unsuitable for any structure to erect. It is also remarkable to consider that
the four other lakes are also partially implementing the easement. Maintenance
activities such as water quality monitoring, clean-up operation and fingerlings dispersal
are being in done in the eight lakes. The water quality standards for all of the eight lakes
were based on the Class C water quality Criteria under the DENR Administrative Order
34 series of 2008. The water quality parameters are being monitored on the first and
last quarters every year. The clean-up drives which were initially done in river
rehabilitation are now done in a regular basis. Further, seeding activities in the eight
lakes are being done constantly. The choice of species are however quite alarming as
they prefer introducing foreign species instead of stock enhancement.
This paper emphasizes the importance of MDPs in setting the path towards sustainable
utilization of each resource. It more like of the manual of operations for development
that will require time, talent and treasure for it to be materialized. The speed of actions
was notably slow considering that LLDA is solely dedicated for these specific functions.
Amidst brilliant ideas that conservationist, fisheries professionals and other experts
funding support is still the deciding factor for any government project to be
implemented. Stakeholders play a significant role in all the activities in the MDPs; it is a
challenge to any lead agency to sustain their participation.
The literature in lake governance is the scarce. In developing countries such as the
Philippines, the inadequacy of even the most basic limnological datasets available has
hindered planning and implementation of science based management policies for Inland
waters. A sustained effort from different sectors is strongly suggested not only to
manage freshwater ecosystems but also address trade-offs among critical ecosystems
services (Mendoza, et al., 2019). Thus it is also important that publications similar to this
are highly encouraged.
Mendoza, M. U., Briones, J. A., Itoh , M., Padilla, K. R., Aguilar, J. I., Okuda , N., & Papa, R.
(2019, September ). Small Maar Lakes of Luzon Island, Philippines: Their Limnological
Status and Implications on the Management of Tropical Lakes- A Review. Philippine
Journal of Science, 565-578.