By Ali G. Macabalang
Cotabato City – Maguindanao Rep. Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu has revealed the presence of vast natural gas deposits worth more $1 trillion in the 220,000-hectare Liguasan Marsh, even as he called for prompt development of such assets to propel growth in Mindanao, in particular, and the country, in general.
Mangudadatu released last week a video footage, showing him standing beside a large pipe installed at Buluan Lake that continuously produced flame emanating from running water coming from the marsh, which, he claimed, was evidence of the presence of methane gas.
He also shared video footage of how he was able to fry fish using gas sourced from the marsh.
After his video illustration, he said, he distributed dozens of gas stoves to villagers living in three barangays along the Buluan lakeshores for their cooking routines using the “God-given asset,” instead of commercial gas and firewood.
He urged gas stove manufacturing firms to donate or sell units at discounted prices to more villagers along Buluan Lake as charity to such impoverished communities.
Buluan Lake forms part of the 220,000-hectare Liguasan marsh that borders Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato provinces.
Mangudadatu said he had long heard about reports on natural gas deposits in the Liguasan delta until workers at his own fishpond who were searching for drinking water “accidentally” discovered part of the gas reserve on October 27, 2013.
“Since then, we have been using the 24/7 supply methane gas in our cooking. It’s already five years now,” he said.