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NCIP told: Stand with Dumagat people, oppose Kaliwa Dam construction

/ 01:52 PM October 24, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Two party-list lawmakers challenged the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) Thursday to stand with the Dumagat people and block the China-funded Kaliwa dam project that would destroy the indigenous group’s (IPs) home and livelihood.

Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat, a Manobo leader, said the construction of the dam touted to solve Metro Manila’s water shortage would affect 5,173 households in Tanay, Rizal, at General Nakar, Quezon province, most of them are IPs.

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“Hindi dapat pirmahan ng NCIP ang Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) o anumang mga dokumentong magpapahintulot sa pagsira sa tirahan at kalikasan sa pagtatayo ng Kaliwa Dam,” Cullamat said in a statement.

(The NCIP should not sign the Free Prior and Informed Consent or any document allowing the project that would destroy the home of IPs and the natural resources there.)

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READ: ECC for Kaliwa Dam project assailed

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate meanwhile denounced the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ grant of Environmental Compliance Certificate to the project, which is located over a fault line and would displace the Dumagat people. He said the government should resort to less destructive options like the rehabilitation of the Wawa dam.

READ: Kaliwa Dam project gets DENR clearance

“Why is the Duterte administration so obsessed with this China-funded loan even if it would put our country on a severe disadvantage against China?” the House leader said, adding that the House Makabayan opposition bloc filed House Resolution No. 15 which seeks to probe the impacts of the dam’s construction.

“We hope that the House leadership would immediately schedule a hearing for the measure and hear the voices of the Dumagat people and other sectors that would be affected,” Zarate added.

The P12-billion Kaliwa dam, one of the administration’s long-term solutions to water shortage, is funded by China’s Official Development Assistance to the Philippines. The dam is expected to supply 600 million liters per day of water.

The bulk of the project involves the construction of a 27-kilometer tunnel from the source in the boundary of Infanta and General Nakar, Quezon province to the treatment plant in Teresa and Antipolo, Rizal. /je

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TAGS: Bayan Muna, Carlos Zarate, Eufemia Cullamat, Kaliwa dam, NCIP
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