Article courtesy of Sun Star | July 25, 2015 | Sun Star | Shared as educational material
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – “Let’s not wait for the worst to happen. Ban the consumption of fish and other aquatic products affected by the recent fishkill.”
Thus said Governor Lilia Pineda as she called an emergency meeting at the Capitol’s Executive House on Friday, where she gave mayors of affected towns the marching order to stop people from eating fishkill affected produce.
This came as municipal agriculture officers (MAOs) of the affected towns of Candaba, Masantol, Macabebe, Apalit, San Luis and San Simon reported the incidence of a massive fishkill along Pampanga River in the past three days.
Also in the emergency meeting were officials from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), mayors, and MAOs of towns affected by the fishkill.
Pineda urged the municipal officials of the affected towns to issue an advisory forbidding residents from consuming affected aquatic products as well as enlist village watchmen to assist in monitoring the situation.
Gonzalo Coloma, BFAR representative, clarified however, that their recent water tests showed low levels of dissolved oxygen in affected areas and is the lead cause for the fishkill.
Coloma also stressed that the affected fish collected from the affected parts of Pampanga River did not exhibit chemical odor, which could indicate water contamination, if any.
However, Governor Pineda was firm on imposing the ban to prevent any untoward incident. The governor also ordered a separate examination on the affected fish and water to determine any other underlying factors such as pesticide contamination, bacterial infestation, and heavy metal poisoning, among others.
The governor also ordered immediate dredging and recovery of domestic waste illegally dumped along Pampanga River to avoid suspected bacterial infestation which also causes the depletion of oxygen in bodies of water.
Meanwhile, Governor Pineda instructed the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office led by Elizabeth Baybayan to immediately distribute food assistance to some 4,000 registered fisherfolk whose livelihood is affected by the fishkill. (Angelique DC Tuazon/Pampanga PIO)