Save La Mesa Movement

I would like to ask everyone to help save the La Mesa Reservoir from being contaminated by people who will build a settlement/community inside the reservoir as part of collective bargaining agreement made several years back between the management of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and two of their labor unions.

This petition is spearheaded and sponsored by ABS-CBN Foundation‘s Bantay Kalikasan and La Mesa Ecopark.

Here is a part of the petition text.

Our water, our life

12 million people in Metro Manila depend on the La Mesa reservoir for water.

Please help keep it safe and clean.
Add your voice to the campaign to preserve the La Mesa Watershed.
Join the signature campaign asking the government


Be part of the five million signatures needed to save the La Mesa Watershed. Please click here to sign the petition and please tell a friend about this petition.

Here is the news clip from ABS-CBN Bantay Kalikasan

La Mesa Watershed in Danger!
May 02, 2006

Environmentalists and major non-government organizations today joined forces to ask the MWSS and the DENR to reconsider the plan to establish a housing project within the La Mesa Watershed.

"Save the La Mesa", a coalition of organization and individuals, today raised the red flag to warn residents of Metro Manila of the impending threats of water contamination should MWSS and the claimants pursue the housing project within the reservation.

Citing an independent study conducted by the UP-NHRC on the effects of the proposed MWSS Housing Project on the La Mesa Watershed and Reservoir, the group expressed concerns over threats of water contamination that the housing project poses to the reservoir.

The study, notwithstanding its recommendation of mitigating measures to address environmental risks, underscores the need to review the plans for the proposed site and consider relocating the housing project.

Prof. Leonardo Q. Liongson, Director of UP-NHRC, in a letter to MWSS Administrator Orlando C. Hondrade, recommended that "it will be in the best interest of MWSS and the general public who eventually utilize for drinking the water in the La Mesa Reservoir that the 58 hectares of the La Mesa watershed area being proposed for the MWSS Housing project shall remain a protected watershed and not be converted to a housing project area".

Consequently, Administrator Hondrade, in his letter addressed to then DENR Secretary Michael T. Defensor, echoed Prof. Liongson’s concerns and recommendation, and admitted that the proposed 58-hectare housing area located within the La Mesa Reservoir posed a serious threat on the reservoir’s water quantity and quality.

The proposed housing project is part of the CBA between MWSS and two of their labor unions, KKMK-NWSA and BELA back in 1968.

Under the agreement, MWSS alloted 58 hectares of its property near the La Mesa Watershed to be sold at P5.50 per sq m to the unions, with total value of Php 3.19 million. The property was raffled off and was awarded to 1,411 union members. Eventually, a new site located within the perimeter of La Mesa Watershed was designated.

The deal, overtaken by events, was only consummated with the turn over of the absolute deed of sale to the claimants in March 2006.

This recent development prompted the group to call on the support of DENR to reconsider the issuance of an ECC to the claimants that would allow them to start building on the proposed site.

The group also appealed to the MWSS housing project claimants to consider the viability of an already-identified alternative housing area in Antipolo in lieu of the La Mesa Watershed site.

Should the MWSS and the claimants pursue the housing project, past and present preservation efforts to protect the quality and quantity of clean drinking water for Filipinos residing in Metro Manila will be all for naught.

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21 Responses to “Save La Mesa Movement”

  1. 1 melai September 25, 2006 at 1:58 am

    hindi ba ang MWSS at ang mga Lopez (owner ng ABS-CBN) ay business partner? uhmmnnn anyways, kung honest to goodness ang aim ng ABS-CBN bantay kalikasan why not support them lalo na at para ito sa kalikasan.

  2. 2 myepinoy September 25, 2006 at 8:01 pm

    Melai: Business or no business, every Pinoys must support this. The rich pinoys would not be affected much because they can afford to buy whatever kinds of water they want. But the poor Juans or Pidros are the ones who needed this water.

    Kaya pwede sabihin na ang pirma nino man ay pirma para sa nakakaraming Juan at mga Pidro.


  3. 3 melai September 26, 2006 at 5:52 am

    kaya nga..sabi ko nga po sa huli diba?
    aray ko para bang napagalitan ako

  4. 4 Major Tom September 26, 2006 at 7:25 am

    I wonder if the housing project could be given ECC permits, as it usually has to. Baka illegal pa yan kasi under environmental laws, public domains like watersheds and forest reserves are not suceptible for commercial acquisitions except in rare cases where it is extremely necessary and when it is in small amount of areas…58 hectares is just too much.

  5. 5 myepinoy September 26, 2006 at 9:23 am

    Melai : Ha ha ha… Sori po mali ang dating….

    Major Tom: It could be. I m not familiar with these laws. I just hope, these people should see the importance of protecting the source of water for MM. Ang probelma lang baka greed ang mangibabaw. Dapat fair at reasonable din ang kapalit or relocation site ng mga beneficiaries.

  6. 6 magsy September 26, 2006 at 9:56 am

    of all people, the waterworks guys thought it best to reside within the watershed area…haha

  7. 7 myepinoy September 26, 2006 at 10:29 am

    Magsy : The watershed area is now a prime property location. The value has increased more that 1,000 times because of the rapid development and commercialization in nearby areas. So, where on earth in Q.C. can you buy a piece of land at PHP5.50 per square meter. Even in dump-site Payatas, you won’t find any property with a price like that.

    Can you blame the waterworks guys?

  8. 9 myepinoy September 26, 2006 at 11:00 am

    Eric : Thank you so much!

  9. 10 Sidney September 26, 2006 at 11:05 pm

    I guess as a foreigner I can’t sign this petition but I do hope that you can protect La Mesa watershed. Water (and its quality) will be a big issue in the future. It is a pitty there aren’t any politician with a long view. I guess they are only interested in the next elections.

  10. 11 myepinoy September 26, 2006 at 11:39 pm

    Sidney : I am with you in your view that water is a big issue in the future if nothing is done today .

    You are absolutely right in saying that they (politicians) are only interested in keeping themselves in power instead of serving the Filipino people.

    Thank you so much.

  11. 12 Lani September 27, 2006 at 8:54 am

    Count me in, Mang Rolly. Actually naka-sign na ako. Kailangang ipaglaban natin ito para sa kapakanan ng mas nakararami. Mas maraming mahirap sa PInas.

  12. 13 suburbanlad September 27, 2006 at 7:06 pm

    yes, please help save la mesa. not only by signing the petition, but also buying the “one water” bands. i think this will go to the la mesa ecopark project. it’s cheap, it only costs 25 bucks, available at starbucks and goldilocks.

  13. 14 ipanema September 28, 2006 at 11:20 am

    MWSS did this to please their union? Can’t they find another place for their housing? Yes, surrounding QC area is prime property. What are these people thinking about? If they are putting up the first foundation, consider La Mesa dead. Forgive me for being ignorant, where’s Metro Manila’s other water source?

    Does this kind of petition in our government works? Do they listen? Or is everything taken care of?

  14. 15 myepinoy September 29, 2006 at 7:21 pm

    Lani : Thank you very much. Mabuhay ka.

    suburbanlad : That’s one good information for us. Thank you.

    ipanema : I believe from pantabangan and magat dam. Not sure about this. I guess the sponsor of this petition believe this one will work. For me, the most important thing is that we do something rather than do nothing. Thank you.

  15. 16 Mayito September 30, 2006 at 1:11 am

    My Friend: I just read that vert damage hurricane hit your country, I hop your family and friends feels good with safety,
    my god please your country.

  16. 17 myepinoy September 30, 2006 at 6:30 am

    Mayito : Thank you very much my friend.

  17. 18 Ivan About Town October 6, 2006 at 8:31 pm

    Why can’t some people just make sacrifices? We’re talking about 12 million people who will suffer just because a few can’t compromise. Oh well!

  18. 19 myepinoy October 9, 2006 at 9:38 am

    Ivan About Town : That probably is a human nature.
    Thank you for the visit.

  19. 20 ~laiza grace~ June 29, 2007 at 8:11 pm

    so what is new on this topic? natuloy po ba?

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