TALISAY and SAN NICOLAS, BATANGAS — Being officially designated as a protected area failed to save Taal Lake from environmental degradation, and now some are saying even Environment Secretary Joselito ‘Lito’ Atienza’s defiant “no fish cages” stance for the lake will have the same result.
What may work, say scientists and activists alike, is close coordination and cooperation among all those who depend and benefit from the lake. And while they say vigilant monitoring is a must these days, ensuring that everyone understands the consequence of each one’s action is crucial if the lake is to be kept from further deterioration.
TALISAY and SAN NICOLAS, BATANGAS — More than a decade ago, Talisay resident Vicente Llona’s take-home pay after a day’s hard work at a construction site came to P110.
Today, the 43-year-old high school graduate earns five times as much. Since 2002, he has been growing tilapia in fish cages in Taal Lake, an occupation that now nets him as much as P100,000 every six months — and he doesn’t even have to break much sweat.
TALISAY and MATAAS NA KAHOY, BATANGAS — Looking down from the wind-swept resorts and hotels of Tagaytay City, vacationers see Taal Lake as pristine and as inviting as before. Indeed, from a distance, the 24,356-hectare body of water that is part of one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions remains a sight to behold, with gentle breezes often rippling its surface.
Usually overshadowed by Laguna de Bay next door, Taal Lake is tapped for aquaculture, fishing, navigation, and tourism purposes; it is even the water resource of the posh Tagaytay Highlands resort.