Protection, dev’t of Lake Lanao potentials vital — Lanao Sur gov PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 March 2016 13:06

The outgoing governor of Lanao del Sur is optimistic the next Philippine president will complement with more counterpart projects the infrastructures built by the provincial government along the majestic Lake Lanao.

“Lake Lanao is so important for all Maranaws. It is the main icon of our tribal identity,” said Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong, whose third and last term as provincial governor will end on June 30, 2016.

The term Maranaw, pronounced as M’ranaw, means “people of the lake,” just as Central Mindanao’s native folks are called Maguindanaons, from the geographical tag Maguindanao,  “the flooded plains” in the surroundings of the 220,000-hectare Liguasan Delta in Central Mindanao.

In a statement Thursday, Adiong said the two protective dikes, 11 mini ports and six wharfs in towns along Lake Lanao, which his administration constructed from between 2007 to 2015, will keep in the minds of Maranaws the need to cooperate in protecting the ecology of the lake, a known “economic pillar” of the province.

He said some of the projects were accomplished with the bilateral support of President Benigno Aquino III and Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The functions and authority to manage and protect Lake Lanao has not been devolved by Malacañang to any local government unit in Lanao del Sur, or even to the constitutionally-mandated ARMM.

“But just the same my office has tried its best to work towards that goal. The present ARMM leadership has also been helping us protect and harness the potentials of the lake,” Adiong said.

Adiong said the infrastructures his administration constructed along Lake Lanao in the past nine years have improved the connectivity of lake-faring traders to markets in lakeside towns in Lanao del Sur and in Marawi City.

Adiong said he is thankful to the office Hataman for having concreted old roads and opened up new arterial networks linking Maranaw communities to the lake, the main source of freshwater fishes sold in local markets.

Hataman banned all logging operations in watersheds around Lake Lanao in 2012, about a month after massive flashfloods, spawned by Typhoon Sendong, devastated parts of the neighboring Iligan and Cagayan de Oro cities, both in Administrative Region 10, and killed hundreds of villagers.

Adiong said the need to develop and protect the surroundings of Lake Lanao should be a shared responsibility of the provincial government, the ARMM and Malacañang.

The water in Lake Lanao, flowing downstream towards Iligan City and Lanao del Norte, propels the hydroelectric plants supplying three-fourths of Mindanao’s daily power requirements.

Adiong said thousands of Maranaws rely from fishing in Lake Lanao as main as a primary livelihood.