Kaliwa Dam among flagship government projects for water security, says official

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 03 2020 02:22 PM

This structure, which locals call "Laiban Dam" in Tanay, Rizal, was built during the time of former President Ferdinand Marcos, and will form part of the Kaliwa Dam project. Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The completion of the Kaliwa Dam is among priority projects of the government for water security, an adviser of President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday after the chief executive ordered the streamlining of permits for infrastructure programs related to water supply.

Twelve infrastructure projects, including the Kaliwa Dam, were classified as flagship programs for water security, Presidential Adviser on Flagship Programs and Projects Vince Dizon said.

"Kasama ang Kaliwa Dam dahil napaka importante ng Kaliwa Dam sa long-term water sustainability dito sa Metro Manila," Dizon said in a Palace press briefing.

(The Kaliwa Dam is included because it is important for the long-term water sustainability in Metro Manila.)

"I think after so many years, so many decades, it's about time na gawin na natin ito (that we act on it)," he added.

Duterte had advocated for the immediate construction of the dam, with the help of China, saying it is the "last resort" for Metro Manila's water shortage.

Left-leaning groups have questioned the Kaliwa Dam project in Quezon as it would displace thousands of indigenous people, but Duterte, in 2019, promised the public that the government would pay and relocate individuals who would be displaced by the project.

Last week, Duterte issued an administrative order which required all government agencies to prioritize the review and approval of infrastructure projects in relation to water supply as he noted that the bureaucracy has “routinely and excessively delayed” programs on water security.

In 2019, large parts of Metro Manila experienced water shortages because of a supply problem compounded by the dry season.