QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Indigenous people’s (IP) group in Infanta, Quezon province and in Tanay, Rizal traveled to the city to air their grievances against the construction of the controversial Kaliwa Dam project.
The Kaliwa Dam project is being eyed as solution to the recurring problems in water supply in Metro Manila that has been triggered by the persistent El Niño.
Carrying empty pails and water gallons, the Dumagats, led by Marcelino Tena, call on the government to stop the project as it would affect thousands of lives and would destroy the serenity of the Sierra Madre mountain range.
The group argued that aside from losing their livelihood, the project would pose great danger to the environment as it would increase the risk of flooding and landslide in addition to the damaging effects of global warming.
The indigenous group also denounced the idea that the project is the only solution to the recurring water crisis because the water level in Angat Dam, the main source of water in Metro Manila, remains normal.
But the MWSS maintained that experts already proved the efficiency and safety of the dam’s construction therefore, the IPs in the area have nothing to worry about.
Kaliwa Dam is a 73-meter water project to be erected in the mountains if Infanta, Quezon.
From Infanta, Quezon, a tunnel will be constructed towards Teresa town in Rizal where a water treatment facility will be erected.
The dam is expected to augment water supply in Metro Manila.
The project is worth US$248 million equivalent to P14.5 billion and will be funded under the Chinese Official Development Assistance. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Joan Nano)
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