2,000 anti-illegal mining, logging protesters to march streets in Agusan town tomorrow Saturday 

by Ben Serrano

November 12, 2010


            San Francisco, AGUSAN DEL SUR - An estimated 2,000 anti-illegal mining and logging protesters in this town will march major thoroughfares here tomorrow to dramatize their opposition against their allegations of continuing illegal mining and logging activities within this town’s only source of potable water supply Mt. Magdiwata.


            Mt. Magdiwata is a government-declared protected watershed area whose area covered is about 1,658 hectares.


It was declared protected watershed area by then President Fidel Valdez Ramos under Presidential Proclamation No. 282 on October 25, 1993.


            Under said proclamation, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources was being put to task as lead agency to protect said watershed areas from all kind of activities within the 1,658 hectares government declared watershed.


            San Francisco Water District General Manager Elmer Luzon said they decided to march the streets to dramatize their continuing opposition of the continuing illegal mining and logging activities inside the watershed.


            San Francisco Water District is getting its only potable water supply in Mt. Magdiwata for decades now.


            “We have already tried all legal means and done many exhaustive leg works to coordinate with various government concerned agencies but it seems it was not enough as illegal logging and mining activities to this day continues” Luzon told BATASMEDIA.


            Luzon and other protesting groups suspected powerful politicians were behind destructive activities within watershed area saying it was the reason why illegal miners and loggers had the gut to stay despite massive opposition on their stay at the area.


            Tomorrow’s protest action is spearheaded by multi-sectoral groups from various religious, business and other private sectors and civic organizations of this capital town of Agusan del Sur.


Different religious organizations here such as the San, Francisco Roman Catholic Parish  Church, Ecumenical Churches of San Francisco whose membership composed of United Church of Christ of the Philippines (UCCP), Pentecostal and Baptist Churches and other evangelical churches’ group were the ones soliciting support in the campaign against illegal activities within watershed.


San Francisco Parish Priest Fr. Ernesto “Father Estong” Balandet said they expect 2,000 protesters to join “Motor Caravan To Protect Mt Magdiwata Watershed” tomorrow. (-30-)