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.###

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