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Taytay fishers to collect water hyacinths

Neil Alcober



TAYTAY-DENR collaboration meeting attended by (leftmost) Vic Badaguas, the LGU's general services office chief, Environment Usec. Benny Antiporda (center) and Mayor Joric Gacula (rightmost).

Fisherfolk in coastal barangays of Taytay, Rizal will be compensated by the national government for every kilo of water hyacinth they are able to collect from rivers and other waterways.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has partnered with the Taytay local government unit headed by Mayor Joric Gacula to assist them clear Pasig River and adjacent rivers of water hyacinth and garbage.

Vic Badaguas, Taytay General Services Offices chief, said DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda sought assistance from the municipal government for clearing and declogging efforts.

“It’s a joint project to clear Pasig River of water hyacinths that go downstream. For this to be addressed, a concerted joint effort among local government units is needed, and Taytay was chosen as pilot area,” Badaguas told Daily Tribune in a phone interview.

“This is to clean Laguna Lake of water hyacinths so that these will not flow out of Laguna Lake to adjacent rivers and Manila Bay,” he added.

The Taytay official said the DENR will deputize fisherfolk to remove floating water hyacinths that have been swept away from the river banks.

“They will be compensated P1.50 for every kilo of water hyacinth. They will load these into their bancas and transport these to a buying station. The LLDA (Laguna Lake Development Authority) and DENR will assign a barge for this purpose,” he said.

The project will be handled by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) and funded by the national government.

Aside from causing floods, thick water hyacinth beds also pose a problem to small vessels using the river as the plants hamper navigation.