By Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos
President Duterte assured that the estimated $1 billion gas field in Liguasan Marsh in Maguindanao will not be touched by the national government.
The President made the statement after Maguindanao Representative Zajid Mangudadatu revealed that the unexploited marsh in the south has become a source of cooking gas.
It was earlier reported that the area beneath Lake Buluan in Maguindanao’s Liguasan Marsh contains 68 billion cubic feet of methane gas.
“There is much worry – and they are wary na baka ‘yung sabi ninyo sa Liguasan Marsh. If there are trillions of cubic meters of oil, do not be worried at all. Hindi na kukunin ng gobyerno ‘yan. Inyo ‘yan. Walang makialam niyan,” said Duterte Saturday evening in Davao City. “It will remain in your control and possession. But you just have to pay the taxes and the service that the government that would spend,” he added.
However, Duterte also asked the locals to share the gas reserve to those who wish to earn money through the unexploited gas field.
“If you grow rich, mag mayayaman kayo diyan sa Maguindanao pati sa Sultan Kudarat. Eh huwag naman din ninyong bawalan ‘yung ibang pumunta doon. Kasi nandiyan ‘yung pera,” he said. “If there is a commercial activity and there’s really oil in Liguasan Marsh, my God, pupunta lahat ‘yan (everyone will go there). Christian, Muslims, Lumad and will join the fray to enjoy progress and development.”
In an interview over DZMM last month, Mangudadatu expressed confidence that the country will be able to develop the marsh in 25 years.
“This is not just for Maguindanao province, but for the whole country,” Mangudadatu said, also expressing optimism that the Philippines will be “the next Dubai.”