NAGAMI or Nagkahiusang Gagmay’ng Minero petitioned last month to declare a land area of 20 hectares located at Barangays Mat-I and Mabini of Surigao City into a ‘Minahan ng Bayan’.
The petition has opposed by the Surigao Metropolitan Water District (SMWD) through its Board of Directors by filing a resolution. Based on the resolution, the opposition to the NAGAMI petition is based on the following reasons:
- The proposed tunneling is close enough to the Parang-parang watershed which is the source of water supply of the SMWD being supplied to the whole city.
- The whole Parang-parang area is declared protected area by virtue of President Corazon Aquino’s Proclamation No. 635
- The watershed will be affected by the cutting of trees that will be done by the miners to be used in tunneling and for the bunk houses.
- The mining process which uses harmful chemicals will easily contaminate the water shed.
- The contamination will easily finds its way to the Surigao river which is also considered by the SMWD as future source of water supply.
The SMWD also takes note that the city is still experiencing water shortage despite the reforestation and other means done by the local government and the NGOs, and therefore, they could not allow that the main source of water will just be sabotage by allowing the local miner to operate near the Parang-parang watershed.