TACLOBAN CITY – Contamination from Mining operation and turbidity are two of the three causes of the massive fish mortality in Lake Bito, MacArthur, Leyte according to the final report of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). The report was made in Brgy. Villa Imelda, MacArthur to the fisherfolks and the barangay officials and to the municipal officials last May 7.
“The damage caused by Nicua Mining to Lake Bito, the food and livelihood resource for the people of Bgy Imelda and of the nearby barangays can no longer be denied. Hence, those responsible for the damage, those who failed to prevent the damage from occurring, as well as those who presented misleading information which sabotaged the fast and effective response to the problematic situation should be punished according to the full weight of the law,” according to Nestor Lebico, Secretary-General of Samahan han Gudti nga Parag-uma ha Sinirangan Bisayas o SAGUPA-SB.
Massive fish mortality in the Lake started in March 14. According to Barangay officials and fisherfolk leaders, fish mortality has continued since then . The damage has reached 22 metric tons. Thus income from mariculture in the lake has been paralyzed.
“We challenge the LGU leaders of the municipality of MacArthur and of the province of Leyte to serve their constituents s by helping them compel NIcua mining Corporation/Leyte Ironsands Corporation (NMC/LIC) to pay for the damage they made. We also ask MGB director de Dios to explain to the public how come his model for responsible mining acted irresponsibly,” Lebico ended.###