Local Church in Quezon Reiterates Opposition to Kaliwa Dam Project - image  on https://www.mypope.com.ph
Friday, September 25, 2020
Local Church in Quezon Reiterates Opposition to Kaliwa Dam Project - image MPVisit_LEADERBOARD_728x90 on https://www.mypope.com.ph
Home Vatican Updates Local Church in Quezon Reiterates Opposition to Kaliwa Dam Project

Local Church in Quezon Reiterates Opposition to Kaliwa Dam Project

The P12.2 billion China-funded project will displace the Dumagat tribes living in the Sierra Madre Mountain Range.

A local Catholic Church in Quezon province has reiterated its warning to the hazards of the multibillion Kaliwa Dam project.

Bishop Bernardino Cortez of Infanta said that the multibillion mega-dam project is a matter of survival to the people as it poses risks to lowland agricultural and fishing communities with a history of flash flooding. (Read: Baguio Bishop Hits Property Developer for ‘Murder’ of Pine Trees) He also added that the most affected communities cannot defend themselves because of poverty and lack of education.

Dumagats in Danger

local-church-in-quezon-renews-opposition-to-kaliwa-dam-project
Agos River, Infanta, Quezon — Indigenous people of Rizal marked the Dumagat Day last year, 2019. (Photo from Southern Tagalog Exposure / Bulatlat)

The prelature covers the northern part of Quezon and the Aurora province. It lies along the Sierra Madre Mountain Range and on the east of the vast Pacific Ocean.

The area is also the home of thousands of Dumagats—an indigenous community in the highlands of Infanta who depend on farming, hunting, and fishing to survive. (Read: This group of engineering students is literally bringing light to an indigenous community in Bulacan)

“By geography, our very survival depends on the care of our mountains, forests, rivers, protection of mangroves and seashores,” Bishop Cortez said.

Government figures say that the tribe now numbers less than 30,000 because of being displaced in their ancestral lands by big corporations.

Kaliwa Dam

local-church-in-quezon-renews-opposition-to-kaliwa-dam-project
The Kaliwa Dam project, a $211.21-million loan from China, has been seen as solution to Metro Manila’s water requirements. (Photo from MWSS / Philippine STAR)

The P12.2 billion China-funded Kaliwa Dam is among the government’s priority projects. It is slated a long-term solution to Metro Manila’s water problems.

According to Bishop Cortez, the dam is a danger to the environment as the project falls within the Kaliwa Watershed Forest Reserve. He urged the government to look for alternative sources of water—watershed rehabilitation and improving existing dams and water facilities are some of the solutions he suggested.

“We hope and pray that our people in this ‘Jubilee for the Earth’ will develop a new mindset and a paradigm shift in our care and use of the common home,” he said. (Read: New ‘Table-To-Farm’ Project Helps Aetas in Zambales Grow Their Own Food)

The Kaliwa Dam project was approved under the Aquino administration but no construction has begun since. Environment groups such as Haribon have lobbied and fought against the project saying it will cause “long-term, irreversible environmental damage to the Sierra Madre and its biodiversity” and displace the Dumagat tribes residing there.

local-church-in-quezon-renews-opposition-to-kaliwa-dam-project
This structure, which locals call “Laiban Dam” in Tanay, Rizal, was built during the time of former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, and will form part of the Kaliwa Dam project. (Photo from Art Fuentes / ABS-CBN News)

President Rodrigo Duterte has earlier said that the government will pay the natives who will be displaced to make way for the dikes and tunnels that will be built in the area. Relocation areas will also be provided.

Most Recent

What’s the Deal About Sacred Relics?

The Diocese of Laoag has recently acquired first-class relics of St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Nicholas of Tolentino.

3 Tips to Starting Your Own Herb Garden

Over the past few months, many have become plant lovers or simply plantitos and plantitas. People have started gardening and planting in their own backyards...

ICYMI: Filipino Animations Are Coming to Netflix!

The animation industry has been in the Philippines ever since the 1980s. From being involved in classic animations like Scooby-Doo, Tom and...

7 Prayers for Engaged Couples

Endurance Prayer King of Glory, thank you for enabling us to reach this stage of our relationship. We would not have done it without you,...

FOLLOW US!