By Ellalyn De Vera Ruiz
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has granted the crucial environmental compliance certificate (ECC) for the implementation of the Kaliwa Dam project in Rizal and Quezon provinces.
DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said the Department, through its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), will strictly monitor the compliance of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) with the conditions stipulated in the ECC.
The EMB issued the ECC for the Kaliwa Dam project after it satisfied the requirements of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) System under Presidential Decree (PD 1586) and its implementing rules and regulations.
With the ECC issuance, Cimatu said the MWSS is expected to “implement the measures presented in the EIS intended to protect and mitigate the project’s adverse impacts on community health, welfare and the environment.”
He reminded MWSS to ensure that appropriate environmental and social safeguards are met in the implementation of the Kaliwa Dam project.
“Environmental considerations shall be incorporated in all phases and aspects of the project,” Cimatu said.
“We expect the MWSS, as project proponent, to ensure that all activities related to the project are environmentally and socially sound and sustainable,” he added.
The former Army general warned that “any serious violation or non-compliance with the conditions will result in the cancellation of the ECC.”
The ECC granted to MWSS covers the construction and operation of a gravity dam along Kaliwa River located in the towns of Teresa and Tanay in Rizal province, and General Nakar and Infanta in Quezon province.
The dam will be 60 meters tall with a riverbed elevation of 100 meters. Its reservoir surface area will cover some 291 hectares, with a full supply level volume of 57 million cubic meters.
Kaliwa Dam is meant to be an additional raw water source that will augment the supply from Angat Dam, which supplies about 96 percent of Metro Manila’s water requirement.
Its implementation has been met with criticisms due to its purported adverse social and environmental impacts, especially to the indigenous peoples living in the area.