House approves bill on rehabilitation of unused fish ponds
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives on Monday passed on third and final reading a bill that sought to shorten the amount of time government can enter abandoned fish ponds to rehabilitate these water basins.
House bill 7754 provides amendments to the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines.
It received 284 ‘yes’ votes from lawmakers.
“Instead of remaining an idle asset, these abandoned or unutilized fish ponds can now be used to help in efforts to safeguard and protect the environment,” House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said in a statement.
“This measure also aims to address the ill effects of climate change by actively promoting reforestation in areas that can be planted with trees,” he added.
The bill instructs the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to set the guidelines to determine abandoned, undeveloped or under-utilized fish ponds covered by lease agreements.
The legislative piece was introduced by Agusan del Sur Representatives Alfelito Bascug and Eddiebong Plaza, along with Bulacan 4th district Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica.