Rizal 2nd District Rep. Fidel Nograles on Thursday, July 22 warned government that the construction of the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam project may cause massive flooding in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
Nograles, a member of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, urged government to heed the warning of environmental groups against the implementation of the project that will displace hundreds of indigenous families in Rizal and Quezon.
“Environmental groups have long warned us that the Kaliwa Dam project will spell disaster not just upstream, where it will endanger 291 hectares of watershed and 172 plant species, but also for the populous areas downstream that will bear the brunt of deadly and destructive flooding,” Nograles said.
He also noted that the multi-billion peso project aimed at tapping a new source of potable water for Metro Manila has been “peppered with controversy” as a result of the illegal construction of access roads reportedly by the Chinese construction firm that was awarded the contract for the project.
Serious questions have also been raised against the issuance of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process with indigenous Dumagat and Remontado peoples in the area.
“We have to be very careful especially after the collapse of two dams in Inner Mongolia, China just a few days ago, and the Chinese miltary’s warning that another dam is on the verge of collapse in Henan province. All of these things are happening just because of heavy rains in China, and heavy rains are a regular occurrence in our country,” Nograles added.
Nograles said lessons may be learned from Sunday’s collapse of two reservoir dams in Hulunbuir City in the Chinese autonomous region of Inner Mongolia and the current situation in central China where 25 people have already died and 100,000 were evacuated due to intense rains and flooding. The incident in Inner Mongolia was caught on video and is currently making the rounds in social media.
“With the welfare of our people in mind, I call on the national government to rethink this project. We don’t have to rush it as it could endanger not just our environment but the lives and livelihood of the people we wish to serve,” Nograles stated.