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.
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
TO DECLARE LA MESA WATERSHED A PROTECTED AREA.
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.