Cayetano renews call to develop Laguna Lake for a sustainable metropolis

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TAGUIG CITY, July 20, 2021 — Former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday renewed his appeal to the national government to “implement something great” in Laguna Lake to usher in a sustainable life for the surrounding cities and provinces.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony and time capsule laying of Taguig City’s Agri-Industrial Hub For Freshwater Aquaculture Urban Farming, Cayetano said he is certain that Rizal, Laguna, Taguig, Muntinlupa, Pateros, and Pasig all have the potential to “exceed the level of Singapore’s success” with the right programs from the government.

“If we combine the efforts in Boracay, Manila Bay, and Clark, and give the right authorities and the resources to be able to implement something great here in the Laguna Lake, maniwala po kayo ang napakarami nating problema sa Metro Manila maso-solve — malinis na hangin, pagkain na masustansya na walang chemicals, traffic,” he said.

(Believe me, a lot of our problems in Metro Manila will be solved — clean air, nutritious food, and traffic.)

He also noted the huge size of Laguna Lake, saying “the entire Singapore” can fit inside the body of water.

Cayetano said he wants the industrial hub for fish farming in Taguig City to include offices for the Department of Agriculture (DA) that will be conducive for the Department’s long-term presence in the “Probinsyudad.”

He said it is “institutionally important” that the DA be in continuous direct cooperation with the city’s local government as it is home to 12 coastal barangays where thousands of registered fisherfolk reside.

Kami pong mga pulitiko at mga appointed, we come and go eh. Pero kayo pong mga career [officials], you will be there for a long time. And even kapag dumating y’ung time na magre-retire na kayo, ipapasa niyo rin yan,” he said, referring to DA Secretary William Dar and  Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) General Manager Jaime C. Medina.

(Politicians and appointed leaders like us come and go, but career officials like you will be there for a long time. By the time you decide to retire, you can pass this on.)

The former Speaker said the establishment of an agri-industrial hub will encourage the new generation of fisherfolk families to pursue the occupation.

“I’m happy that finally we will have a project that will not only benefit all Taguigeños but will allow our fishermen and farmers not only to thrive but lalong lalaki po ang kanilang kita (their income will increase),” he said.

He thanked Dar and the entire DA for being “good stewards” of the city’s natural resources and being the local government’s partners in pursuing a “Probinsyudad” living.

Ramdam po ng aming mga farmer at fishermen mula pa ho kay Lani at papunta kay Lino na kahit sila ay marginalized sa mundong ito, sila ay importante sa amin,” Cayetano said, referring to his wife Lani who was mayor from 2010 to 2019 and his brother Lino who is the current mayor of the city.

(We — from Lani’s time up until Lino’s — have been making our marginalized farmers and fishermen feel that we value them.)

Also present in the event were Agri-Industrialization and Fisheries Undersecretary Cheryl Marie N. Caballero, Bureau of Soils and Water Management Director Engr. Pablo M. Montalla, 

Bureau of Plant Industry Director George Y. Culaste, PhD., Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Director Commodore Eduardo B. Gongona, Philippine Fisheries Development Authority General Manager Atty. Glen Pangapalan, and Taguig City’s agriculturists.###

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