No to Kaliwa Dam!

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AN URGENT LETTER TO  PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE WHO IS BEING MANIPULATED BY HIS ADVISERS TO SIGN THE CONTRACT FOR THE KALIWA DAM PROJECT WITH  CHINESE PRESIDENT XI JINPING ON NOVEMBER 11, 2018

Dear Mr. President:

If you really care for our country, you will NOT SIGN THE Agreement FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE KALIWA DAM for the following COMPELLING reasons:

1. IT WILL PLACE 100,000 LIVES IN DANGER.

While Manila is now preparing for the Big One earthquake of the Marikina West Valley Fault, the proposed 60-meter Kaliwa Dam will be constructed within a zone of two active tectonics represented by the Philippine Fault Zone and the Valley Fault System. The Agos Dam site is located only 7-8 kilometers from the Philippine Fault Zone (Infanta Fault). In case an active fault is nearby the proposed dam site, two major problems can occur and will greatly affect the design of the proposed structures, namely: 1.) seismicity caused by the earthquakes occurring in active fault zone; and 2.) deformation in dam-foundation caused by the movement of active faults. Most of the proposed dam sites would be subject to high peak acceleration and are exposed to generally high degree of seismicity.

Along the Philippine Fault, there were many large-scale earthquakes that were recorded in the past and the relative movement of 6 cm was observed in the period of 1991 to 1993. It can be said that the Philippine Fault Zone has a potential to cause very high seismic activity, as what have been recorded in the July 18, 1880 earthquake where the old churches of Infanta, Mauban (both in Quezon province) and Manila Cathedral were devastated (Page 3-11 of the The 2003 results of JICA study “The Study on Water Resources Development for Metro Manila in the Republic of the Philippines”). ”Even with its best technology, Japan was caught flat-footed with its 2011 earthquake”.  

2. IT VIOLATES THE LAW.

To sign the bilateral loan agreement thru ODA for the Kaliwa Dam Project would essentially violate R.A. 8173 and R.A. 7586. Up until now there is no Free, Prior and Informed Consent ever given by the Dumagat-Remontados for this construction as required by R. A. 8173. Neither has there been an Environmental Compliance Certificate as required by R.A. 7586 and yet your advisers have scheduled the signing on November 11, 2018.

3. IT IS A DEBT TRAP.

By refusing to be transparent on the Kaliwa Dam despite your Freedom of Information E.O. 2, your advisers have effectively prevented a solidly based scientific study of the Dam. For all their rhetoric your advisers are paving the way to a debt trap. They are simply duplicating Sri Lanka’s Hambantota airport and seaport experience during the dictatorship of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Both airport and seaport became liabilities so much so that Sri Lanka had to lease the seaport for 99 years. Malaysia’s newly elected Mahatir has cancelled projects with China to avoid being trapped.  

4. IT IS IGNORES THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE.

The collapse of the dams in Vietnam and in Myanmar a few months ago, the Itogon tragedy, the landslide in Naga City, Cebu and the most recent incident in Natonin, Mountain Province are enough signs that the impact of climate change can no longer be ignored. These should teach the Philippines to listen to the recommendation of the World Commission on Dams not to build big dams anymore.

5. THE PHILIPPINES IS FLOODED WITH RAIN WATER. PROMOTE THE FORESTS, NOT DAM PROJECTS.

The proposed NCWS-Kaliwa Dam Project will inundate 291 hectares of forest from the 9,800-hectare forest in Infanta Kaliwa Watershed, including the sacred site of Dumagat-Remontado in the areas of Tinipak in Brgry. Daraitan, Tanay, Rizal. Kaliwa Dam also plans to get 600 MLD (Million Liters per Day) of water in the Kaliwa river thru embarkment dam of 60 meters high, transported via conveyance tunnel with 4 meters in diameter to Tanay & Antipolo Water Treatment Plants. This will greatly affect irrigation system that sustainably supports Infanta rice granary and it  will dry up aquifers supplying ground-water source for Infanta Quezon Water District (IQWD) servicing its populace.

Construction of Big Dams are not the only answer to the impending water crisis in Metro Manila, there are many other sustainable options. Why not fund the protection and rehabilitation of our degraded watersheds and existing dams, and not the construction of another big dams? It is good news for the environment and can save us from global warming, but bad news for the investors who only want profits at the expense of massive deforestation and community dislocations. The government can also mandate rain water collection modules and water conservation measures, especially for the households and big subdivisions / condominiums, as well as companies, industries, factories and hotel operators within the Metro Manila, instead of spending billions for dams  without the assurance of success.



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