Legarda Renews Call for Strict Implementation of Waste Mgmt, Clean Water Laws to Strengthen Protection of Marine Ecosystems

June 8, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda today renewed her call to local government units (LGUs) to strictly enforce the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Law and the Clean Water Act to strengthen the protection and preservation of marine ecosystems.


Legarda made the statement as she welcomed the move of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to declare Sabang Bay in Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro and Coron Bay in Palawan as water quality management areas (WQMAs) to protect their rich marine biodiversity from the impact of tourism.


“Sabang Bay and Coron Bay are among the country’s famous diving and tourist spots owing to their attractive and extensive coral reefs. It is no wonder that tourists flock in large numbers to see the beauty of these natural wonders. However, heavy tourism puts serious strain and pressure on the reefs around Coron and Puerto Galera. Hence, compliance with environmental laws, such as the ESWM and Clean Water Act, would address these challenges and help build a clean, healthy and safe environment,” she said.


The Senator said that with the country’s high vulnerability to climate change, pollution and increased demand for food and water supply, the country’s water quality is very important and requires urgent protection.


Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, said she is hopeful that other LGUs will also be encouraged to implement the country’s environmental laws and protect marine biodiversity.


“We must prevent the exploitation of resources and destruction of marine life and ensure a balanced marine ecosystem. We must protect our corals, seagrass beds, mangroves and underwater species. LGUs must ensure that tourism activities will not damage our ecosystems and that we preserve our biological diversity,” Legarda concluded.