Mind da News: Endless Study

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, 26 May 2014 – It’s heartening to know that the eco-survival of Sarangani Bay is in the agenda of the present city government. (Mindanews, May 24 2014: Study to protect critical Sarangani Bay pushed) The bay is really polluted.

In the 1940’s and early 1950s, the Alunan Beach, between Dadiangas and Bula, was the swimming ground of the local people. I was among them, then a teenager. No longer now – it’s a bustling community. Of course, the fishes don’t mind their polluted environment. They subsist in pollution. Fishermen catch them, sell them and people eat them partaking of the pollution.

Authored by Kagawad Lita Nuñez, the resolution mandates the “pushing for the conduct of a comprehensive study on the diverse ecosystems of the critical Sarangani Bay” as the City Council “moves for the institution of special protection and conservation policies for the entire bay area and its resources”.

With the welfare of the city residents foremost in their minds, “the council specifically asked the Mindanao State University’s College of Fisheries here to lead the study on the Sarangani Bay, focusing on the definitive assessment of its condition, status and protective measures that are currently in place.”

According to the resolution, “A comprehensive knowledge or information coupled with a well-informed populace could greatly contribute to its sustenance as one of the city’s last bastion of marine natural resource and wealth” and “the study will mainly assist the city government and other concerned agencies in formulating proper protection, conservation and management measures for the bay’s ecosystems”.

Kagawad Nuñez is very, very familiar with the problem. An OIC mayor after the 1986 People’s Revolution, she was repeatedly re-elected mayor until the mid-1990s. Many of the industrial landmarks of the city now – among them, the Fish Port and the Airport – are among her legacies.

Of course, Sarangani Bay eco-problem is also her legacy. If I recall right, the call for the study started during her time and was revived a number of times under the Antonino and Acharon administrations. Briefly, the study had been endless. To no avail!

Can the people of General Santos City now, with the Nuñez resolution, look forward to the final solution of the Sarangani Bay eco-problem as the end of the endless study?

[Author’s Note: Mind da News, the alternate of COMMENT, is a comment on current news. The author may be contacted at [email protected].]