Robredo's pledge to Quezon, IPs: No project to go on without people's concurrence | Inquirer News

Robredo’s pledge to Quezon, IPs: No project to go on without people’s concurrence

/ 08:32 PM April 18, 2022

Robredo's pledge to Quezon, IPs: No project to go on without people's concurrence

Representatives of the Real, Infanta, and General Nakar (REINA) farmers, fisherfolk, women, youth, environmentalists, LGBTQIA+, the Dumagat leaders, evangelicals, and priests of the prelature of REINA make their voices heard as they express their support for presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo and her running mate Senator Kiko Pangilinan at the “REINAgkakaisa for Leni Kiko” people’s rally on Monday, April 18, 2022, in Quezon province. Robredo, in turn, vows a clean, honest, and reliable government that listens to the people if elected President in the May 9 elections. (VP Leni Media Bureau)

MANILA, Philippines —  Vice President Leni Robredo has promised indigenous peoples (IPs) and residents of Quezon province that proper processes would be followed in the implementation of projects, especially amid issues surrounding the Kaliwa Dam undertaking.

In her visit to Infanta town on Monday, Robredo said she hears the people’s complaints about Kaliwa Dam and vowed to be their ally.


“Kanina po, naririnig ko nagrereklamo kayo tungkol sa Kaliwa Dam. In fact, marami po ako ditong pagbisita na ‘yun ‘yung aking sindaya. Ano ‘yung maipapangako ko sa inyo? Ang maipapangako ko sa inyo, kakampi niyo ako. Na walang dadalhin na proyekto dito sa inyo na wala po kayong pag-ayon, ‘di ba?” she asked.


“Meron na tayong mga batas, meron po tayong batas na nagsasabi na bago makapag-umpisa ng isang national government project dito, merong prosesong susundin. Ang aking pangako sa inyo, kung ano ‘yung nasa batas, ‘yun ‘yung susundin natin,” she added.

The Kaliwa Dam project was a Duterte administration undertaking that is seen to address Metro Manila’s impending water concerns but has been embroiled in controversies as it would allegedly cause the displacement of IP communities and destruction of the environment.

Robredo said that if she becomes the next president, she would make sure that the voice of IPs and affected residents would be heard.

“Meron pong tinatawag na ‘yung mga maaapektuhan na mga katutubo, kinakailangan ‘yung kanilang free prior and informed consent. Anong gustong sabihin noon? Na dapat sinasangguni sila, dapat kinokonsulta sila, dapat may pagpahintulot sa kanila,” she explained.

“Na kung meron mang maaapektuhan sa kanila, dapat inaasikaso muna ang kanilang magiging epekto sa pagbuhay. Kung hindi po ito gagawin, ang aking magiging pangako sa inyo, walang matutuloy na proyekto,” she added.

During the water shortage of 2019, several proponents and supporters of the Kaliwa Dam said that the project would be the solution to Metro Manila’s long water problem. Currently, the National Capital Region sources its water from the Angat Dam, which has seen low water levels in recent years.


READ: Water supply shortage? China-funded Kaliwa Dam would ‘absolutely’ help, says Dominguez

However, there were claims from activist groups that the water shortage was only artificial – as it was supposedly generated to justify the necessity for the project.

Aside from possible floods to ancestral lands of the Dumagat people and other IP communities in the area, a Commission on Audit report also found out that the Chinese contractor of the Kaliwa Dam got the project despite lacking some requirements.

READ: COA: China firm got Kaliwa project though lacking requirements 

READ: MWSS should pursue alternatives to Kaliwa Dam – Bayan Muna

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There were also reports that people in the area were not consulted properly about the project. But Malacañang said this month that IPs and even local government units were involved in project negotiations.

TAGS: #VotePH2022, Infanta, Kaliwa dam, Leni Robredo, Philippine news updates

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