World Water Day 2016: Kampeon ng Lawa, Lake Pandin Tour

The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) awards this year's Kampeon ng Lawa as part of the week-long celebration of the World Water Day 2016.

This year's awardees are Generosa "Ka Rosa" V. Espiritu and Mr. Edgardo A. Reyes. The Kampeon ng Lawa award is given to the deserving partners of LLDA in protecting and restoring the balanced ecology of the Lake. The awards were given during the culminating activity held at the Novotel Hotel in Cubao, Quezon City on March 22.

Ka Rosa joined the Laguna de Bay Environmental Army in 1998 and became one of its original female members. The Environmental Army is a volunteer group composed of farmers, fisherfolks and other stakeholders all over the Region who have shared common environmental advocacies. As an active member of the EA, Ka Rosa's involvement in environmental activities is not only confined within her barangay, Brgy. Macatad nor the town of Siniloan alone, but rather extended to other parts of the Laguna de Bay Region. Her dedication and devotion in doing environmental activities did not wane even after her term as an elected official ended.

Mr. Edgardo A. Reyes or Konsehal Ed is a former Municipal Councilor of Nagcarlan, Laguna - 2001-2010. He joined the LIMAS MARINA River Rehabilitation and Protection Council in 2004 and became its President a year after. LIMAS MARINA is volunteer group composed of various sectors within the Sta. Cruz Sub-watershed. Mr. Reyes opted to continue his commitment to ensure that problems within the Sta. Cruz Sub-watershed are looked into and appropriate solutions will be identified and eventually implemented. His task to mobilize the members of the organization is not easy considering that they came from different towns in Laguna - Liliw, Magdalena, Sta. Cruz, Majayjay, Rizal and of course Nagcarlan. His main focus at the moment is to assist LGUs specially the barangays in addressing the perennial problem on waste management. Councilor Ed's term as an elected local official may have ended but his commitment to LIMAS MARINA and the environment continue (and in his words) "hanggang kailangan". Other partner agencies also gave different awards to their recipients.

Also part of the World Water 2016 celebration, the LLDA-Public Information Unit led the Lake Pandin Tour on March 18, in cooperation with LLDA Project Development, Management, Evaluation, Division (LLDA-PDMED), San Pablo LGU/Tourism office, and Samahan ng mga Kababaihan at Bangkera sa Lawa ng Pandin (SKBLP). This is also part of the World Water week-long celebration.

In fine with this year's theme, "Water and Jobs", the SKBLP, especially the women members, shared the potential of Lake Pandin for ecotourism to augment the livelihood of the fisher folks.

In a short program held in Lake Pandin, Ms. Soledad Reyes, Project Development Officer III, LLDA-PDMED presented the Lake Pandin Development Management Plan. Also present were Mr. Rudy Laroza, Secretary to the Mayor, representative of Mayor Loreto S. Amante, of San Pablo City, Councilor Basil Amado (Representative of Cong. Sol Aragones) and Ms. Emma J. Brion from the Committee on Cleanliness and Beautification of Brgy. Sto. Angel (Representative of Chairman Cesarito Ticzon).

Partner agencies were Manila Water Company Inc. (MWCI), Laguna Water, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System Regulatory Office (MWSS-RO), Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) with PRRC Deputy Exec. Dir. Helen Quililan and Division Heads), National Water Resources Board (NWRB), Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (Maynilad), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources National Capital Region (DENR-NCR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources Strategic Concerns and Initiatives Services (DENR-SCIS), Department of Environment and Natural Resources River Basin Control Office (DENR-RBCO), Department of Environment and Natural Resources Manila Bay Coordinating Office (DENR-MBCO), Environmental Management Bureau National Capital Region (EMB-NCR), Environmental Management Bureau Central Office (EMB-CO), Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB). The program was followed by the viewing of Yambo Lake, and culminated with a lunch on the balsa in Lake Pandin.

The event with this year's theme "Water and Jobs" is spearheaded by Maynilad, in partnership with NWRB and the DENR. The celebration was from March 15-22. LLDA also actively supported and participated in the kick-off activity "Water and Jobs" Exhibit held at Trinoma Mall, Quezon City. The Authority's exhibit featured LLDA's programs and projects that support job creation and income generation among the stakeholders in the Laguna de Bay Region.

World Water Day is celebrated annually pursuant to the Global Commemoration of World Water Day as embodied in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution.