SouthCot to acquire 2 motorboats to help protect critical lakes

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 18 March) – The provincial government of South Cotabato is set to acquire two fiberglass motorboats in a bid to strengthen its patrol operations at the three critical lakes of Lake Sebu town.

Loida Villa, forest and inland water division head of the Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO), said Wednesday the motorboats will mainly be used for the monitoring and enforcement of fishery and environmental laws in the area.

She said the local government has allotted some P1.2 million for the purchase of the two motorboats, which cost P600,000 each.

“The motorboats will help us properly enforce fishery and environmental laws as well as monitor the cleanliness of the three lakes,” she said.

Lake Sebu town’s three lakes are Sebu (354 hectares), Seloton (48 hectares) and Lahit (24 hectares).

Villa said they need the motorboats for the monitoring of illegal activities and determine whether fishery regulations are followed by the lakes’ users.

“It will also be used in the conduct of continuous information, education and communication activities to heighten the awareness of fisherfolks on lake environmental protection and conservation,” she said.

The official said the motorboats will be acquired by the local government through the Lake Sebu Rehabilitation, Conservation and Development Program, an institutionalized initiative under Ordinance No. 6, series of 2001.

The ordinance aims to restore the lakes and river systems of Lake Sebu into its pristine state through rehabilitation, conservation and development of their natural resources.

The program is implemented by the PEMO in coordination with the municipal government of Lake Sebu and other stakeholders.

“The procurement of the motorboats will significantly help in the management and protection of Lake Sebu,” Villa said.

She said their office will assign a regular employee who will act as the lake supervisor.

They will also hire three job order workers who will act as lake wardens and handle the operation of the motorboats.

Villa added that they expect the delivery and commissioning of the motorboats within the second quarter of the year.