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Water districts oppose new plantations in Bukidnon

The Bukidnon Association of Water Districts (BAWD), an organization of the provice’s six water districts are opposing the entry of yet another agricultural plantation in Maramag town and Valencia City. BAWD officials passed a resolution in a board meeting on June 26 opposing the proposed plan of Sumifru (Phils.) to put up pineapple and banana plantations in the villages of San Miguel, Maramag town and San Carlos in Valencia City.

In a press statement, they are "strongly opposing the proposed establishment of pineapple/ banana plantation,” due to the potential ill effects of “this agri venture.”
The resolution was submitted to the DENR's Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office and the Environment and Natural Resources Office and the Environmental Management Bureau and to the Maramag municipal council and the Valencia city council for their "reference and appropriate action."

The resolution was passed during BAWD's third regular meeting here at the Gardens Party Venue. Earlier, Conrado Micayabas, chair of the Board of Directors of the Maramag Water District, spoke of their concern on the "impending issue of transforming a significant portion of San Miguel into a pineapple plantation.”

A press statement quoted Micayabas as saying "while such agricultural project may be economically beneficial to the people, it also carries a potential health and environment threat not only to water district concessionaires but also to the general public." "This contention is based on the belief that such investment entails heavy utilization of various chemicals (pesticides, inorganic fertilizers, etc.) which will eventually contaminate and poison the groundwater source," he said.

Ruel Padrequil, general manager of the Valencia City Water District and concurrent BAWD president said he hoped the action could go a long way in stirring awareness and consciousness among the local officials and constituents of Maramag and Valencia City to ensure the protection of water sources.

Juanito Aroa, former BAWD head and incumbent president of the Mindanao Association of Water Districts (MAWD) hailed the resolution and encouraged all water districts in Mindanao to guard their respective water sources against all forms of water contamination and pollution.

Aroa, BAWD founder, is general manager of the Malaybalay City Water District.
BAWD was formed five years ago as an avenue for water districts in Bukidnon to discuss their operational issues and technical concerns. The six members of BAWD are the water districts of Malaybalay, Valencia, Maramag, Manolo Fortich, Don Carlos and Kibawe.


Publication date: 7/14/2008


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