Considered the highest peak in Bohol at 820m above sea level, Mayana peak located in Barangay Mayana, an upland barangay in Jagna, Bohol is now facing environmental degradation due to illegal mining and indiscriminate cutting of trees.
This was the chilling report delivered by Board Member Kristine Alexie Tutor, chairperson of the committee on tourism during the regular session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) on Friday, August 12, 2016.
Tutor, who was on a site inspection tour of tourist destinations in the province was appalled by the extent of the devastation caused by ground diggings that measured nearly 190 feet deep and excavations 30 feet deep with width at 70 feet.
Mayana, 17 kilometers from the town proper is known for its cool climate is home to the Philippines second biggest centennial tree, a 195 yr. old narra (pterocarpus indicus) tree, the country’s national tree that measures 3.2m in diameter and 30m tall.
A producer of vegetables and flowers and a producer of the banana bongan variety, Mayana is one of the four Jagna barangays under the Alejawan-Cansuhay-Anibongan River Watershed Forest Reserve.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Nestor Canda of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) told DYRD Balita that an investigation showed that the reported diggings were found to be dug by treasure hunters.
But residents told the DENR that the diggings were for new water sources ostensibly to augment additional sources of water for the 2,235 residents in the 2nd most populated among the 33 barangays in Jagna.
Canda also partly confirmed the findings of Tutor on the indiscriminate cutting of trees but categorized the trees as used for firewood.
Indigenous trees such as lawa-an (Philippine mahogany) are found in Mayana which are also in danger of destruction if unabated felling of these trees are not regulated, according to Tutor.
Tutor’s findings were referred to the Committee on Natural Resources and Environmental Protection chaired by BM Agapito Avenido. (Chito M. Visarra and Rey Tutas)