Indigenous Peoples' groups slam NCIP, MWSS over Quezon & Apayao dam projects

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 03 2022 08:04 PM

MANILA - Indigenous Peoples' (IP) groups slammed the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) for the implementation of dam projects in Quezon and Apayao provinces. 

The Dumagat and Isnag groups said Thursday in an online press conference that the Memorandum of Agreement for the Kaliwa Dam in Quezon and the Certification Precondition for the Gened Dam 1 in Apayao should be recalled.

With representatives of the Dumagat and Isnag was the Network Opposed to Kaliwa, Kanan and Laiban Dams (NO to KKLD), Water for the People Network, and the Katribu Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas. 

They said that the NCIP violated the rights of IPs while manipulating the process of Free Prior and Informed Consent to get Certificates of Precondition to put up the dams.

"The collusion between project proponents in railroading and manipulating FPIC processes for projects within indigenous communities manifests the desperation of these agencies to implement destructive projects, regardless of its negative impacts to Indigenous Peoples," said NO to KKLD spokesperson Kakay Tolentino. "FPIC is part of our self-determination as Indigenous Peoples. It is not merely a requirement and procedure." 

The MWSS carried out the second round of the MOA validation for the Kaliwa Dam from January 24 to 29, despite the area being under COVID-19 Alert Level 3. 

"We, in General Nakar, condemned this activity amid the pandemic and called for its postponement. The majority of the Dumagat from other directly affected communities also opposed the railroading of the destructive project." said Indigenous PEople Mandatory Representative for Lower Pagsanghan, Rodrigo Piston. 

- With a report by Robert Mano, ABS-CBN News