MARAWI CITY (MindaNews / 27 Nov) – Lake Lanao, the second largest lake in the country, became the center of discussion during the congressional public hearing on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) held at the Lanao del Sur provincial gymnasium here on Thursday.
Driza Liningding, of the Bangsa Moro Peace and Development Council, said the divisions of economic revenues from Lake Lanao do not favor the Maranaos and the Lanao del Sur local government.
“Lanao del Sur and the Maranaos are the losers while the national government and private corporations reap the profits,” Liningding said.
The state-run National Power Corporation, which operates six hydro plants along the Agus River, the main tributary of Lake Lanao, pays the local government units one percent of their gross sales or receipts every year as stipulated by Section 291 of the Local Government Code of 1991.
Liningding said Saguiaran town in Lanao del Sur, where Agus Hydro 2 plant is located, receives P2 million per quarter; while Marawi City with its Agus 1 receives P800,000.
“The problem is what is the basis of the one percent?” Liningding said, adding that the LGUs and the Maranaos want an “equitable share” from the revenues generated by the hydro plants.
Rep. Maximo Rodriguez (partylist, Abamin) said the proposed Bangsamoro parliament can correct all the complaints of the Maranaos.
He said this is the time for them to pass laws in the Bangsamoro parliament to correct the problems.
“The national government and the private corporations are using the waters of the lake for their economic benefits. Now the Bangsamoro government is following suit. What benefits are in store for the Maranaos?” Liningding asked.
He said they also want Section 22 of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law that gives jurisdiction of all inland waters, lakes, rivers, marshes and tributaries to the Bangsamoro government to be specific on Lake Lanao.
He said this would protect Lake Lanao from over utilization of its water resources.