By Christina Hermoso
Diocese of Antipolo Bishop Francisco de Leon is worried about the impact of the proposed Kaliwa Dam in Quezon on the environment and the residents in the affected communities.
“The Diocese of Antipolo is against the construction of the Kaliwa Dam as it threatens the communities particularly in Tanay and the Dumagat-Remontado tribe who lives in the Sierra Madre mountain,” De Leon said over Church-run Radio Veritas.
“The Dioceses of Infanta, Laguna, and Antipolo will be severely affected by this project,” he added.
The Dumagat tribe earlier expressed concerns over the project which they said will drive them out of their ancestral land, deprive them of their livelihood, and destroy even their place of worship. Tribe leader Octavio Pranada said, some 11,000 indigenous people stand to lose their homes once the project starts.
“If and when the dam project pushes through, around 10 chapels of the 12 in Tanay, Rizal, will be submerged in water,” De Leon said. He condemned the seemingly lack of importance given to environmental laws.The bishop added that the diocese is still awaiting the plan of the government on the indigenous tribes who will be affected.