From the mountains of the Cordilleras, Globe Telecom moves to expand its environment protection campaign to include Taal Lake, the country’s third largest lake which supplies up to 40% of the fish protein requirement of the Southern Tagalog region.
The drive to save Taal Lake from water pollution is being done in partnership with PUSOD, Inc., an environmental non-government organization whose mission is to protect and enhance the ecosystems of the Philippines and to show their significance to the world. PUSOD is one of the prime movers behind the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (TVPL) Management Plan alongside Tanggol Kalikasan, the Provincial Government of Batangas and the rest of the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB).
With the partnership, Globe, through its Globe Bridging Communities, becomes the official technology partner of the Landscape Protection Management Plan of Lake Taal, leveraging on its ICT competencies and environmental protection advocacy to reach out to 13 municipalities and three cities around the lake composed of about 2,000 fisher folk, fish cage owners, and barangay captains of communities surrounding the Taal Lake basin.
“After Globe successfully delivered the second Cordillera Challenge in May, we started to scope Luzon for similar environmentally critical areas that we can support, using the Cordillera Challenge partnership model as a guide for replication. We are thankful to be introduced to PUSOD and to be given a chance to help in protecting Taal Lake,” said Rob I. Nazal, head of Globe Corporate Social Responsibility. Cordillera Challenge is a biking activity designed to raise funds to buy seedlings for the reforestation of denuded areas in the Cordilleras in partnership with the Cordillera Conservation Trust.
The cleanliness of the waters in Taal Lake is of prime importance not only for food safety but also for its value to water sports. The group’s goal is to keep the waters of Taal Lake within the Class B criteria for inland waters which are being used primarily for recreation such as bathing, swimming, and skin diving, which means no heavy influx of pollutants that cannot be integrated into the ecosystem.
Right now, the lake has more nutrients than it used to have 20 years ago, thus, stricter monitoring and implementation of laws are necessary to return the lake to its previous state and ensure the balance it has had for centuries. The fishkill in May and June has prompted a focus on water quality and has mobilized the PAMB’s committees to meet to ensure that the management plan is implemented accordingly.
An aerial view of Taal Lake, the third largest lake in the Philippines