There is an on-going discussion on the Kumustahan forum about Paete bagging the "Nakasusulasok Award" purportedly given by Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to the four worst polluters of Laguna de Bay. The article is subtitled "52,000 families using lake as toilet also blamed" which is an embarrassing fact but a fact nonetheless. What is interesting in the choice of awardees (the other three worst polluters are Angono and Taytay in Rizal province, and Binan also in Laguna province as Paete) is that Paete is comparatively a small town than the other three 'recipients' of the award. With a population of 23,011 in 5,101 households, Paete is much smaller than Angono (population: 74,668 in 15,740 households), Taytay (population: 198,183 in 42,620 households), and Binan (population: 201,186 in 42,307 households). The award was given to Paete for operating an open dump site. I don't know if this is true or where the actual dump site is located. All I know is that there is also an open dump site at least in Pangil (or is it Pakil?) along the national highway very close to Paete as well but these towns are a little smaller than Paete as well as their creeks much less polluted than Paete's.
Polluting Laguna de Bay is not unique problem of Paete but it does give Paete a good slap in the face. Maybe this is the wake-up call we need to finally do something about the long-standing issues. The immediate solution will include shutting down the open dump site and move it elsewhere away from the lake.
The issue has been dissected, diced, minced like for ever but no solution was quite close to closing it. It's important that a solution that is amenable to the majority of the community is implemented with a sense of urgency. The problem itself is not limited to the four towns or cities mentioned. The problem of waste disposal or treatment be it solid, sewage, or industrial is a problem that each and everyone of us, and each and every town or city confront on a daily basis. Sooner than later it's going to catch up on us and there will be no escaping the stink or there will be no more fish to catch in the lake. A comprehensive waste management solution is something that Paete should find and implement real quick. If it can ever be achieved, it will improve the health and life of people as well as significantly raise the profile of our small town.
 2000 census according to Wikipedia, on Angono, Taytay, and Binan