PGIN keen to protect Paoay Lake as floating playground opens


Jan. 31, 2022 ...

As some locals air their environment-related concerns over the opening of a floating playground at the Paoay Lake, Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc said that "it is a way of appreciating and maximizing the lake responsibly."

The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) opened the first floating playground in Northern Luzon at the Paoay Lake, near the Malacañang ti Amianan, in Barangay Suba, Paoay, on January 30. Dubbed "Paoay Lake Water Park," its main attraction is the 4200-square meter inflatable island.  

"I don't think it detracts from the lake, I think it enhances the lake. We will continue working with the community and stakeholders para kuntento naman lahatBasta for the good of the community, for the good of the environment, doon naman tayo," Gov. Marcos Manotoc explained.

While PGIN has enforced "no extended swimming" and implemented additional safety measures since the water park's opening, it has also immediately pursued solutions to address the safety issues in the body of water. Specifically, PGIN has already coordinated with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for regular and continuous safety monitoring and implementation of guidelines, as well as with the Department of Science and Technology for quick intervention on wastewater treatment.

"The more we develop and activate Paoay Lake, the more we won't take it for granted. We know now that there are obviously some issues, and it's incumbent on us all to do our part, " Gov. Marcos Manotoc remarked.

On the other hand, Provincial Tourism Officer, Aian Raquel, explained, "Our goal is not only to be compliant but also to help promote the lake and continue its reputation as the cleanest inland body of water in the region. We want to help in actually reducing further pollution in Paoay Lake. This project brings more attention to the health of our lake."

PGIN will continue to pursue the "holistic and multi-pronged" development of the lake complex through the improvement of the Filipino-Chinese Friendship Park, the establishment of a lake shore lounge, bike trail, food strip, and sports facilities, among others, which aims not only for the full revival of the local tourism sector but also to ensure stable employment and livelihood opportunities for many industry workers and local business owners.

The "Paoay Lake Water Park" received an Environmental Compliance Certificate from the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau Region I last December 2021.