Kaliwa dam project hangs

THE construction of the China-funded Kaliwa Dam hangs as the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) has yet to secure the free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) of indigenous groups that will be affected.

Agta-Dumagat leader Marcelino Tena said that only one of six tribes has given its FPIC to the MWSS. During the hearing of the House Committee on Indigenous Cultural Communities and Indigenous Peoples, he claimed that the group received some ₱20 million from the agency.

Indigenous Peoples (IP) leader Thelma Aumentadio said the money was part of the MWSS’ assistance to the tribe, which was also affected by the construction of the Angat-Umiray Transbasin in Quezon Province.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate and ACT Teachers’ Party-list Rep. had sought special audits on the funds of the MWSS.

Earlier, Deputy Speaker and Bagong Henerasyon Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera also asked the House Committees on Government Enterprises and Privatization, and Good Government and Public Accountability, to investigate the agreements with water concessionaires under the MWSS. She reiterated her call for the Commission on Audit (COA) to make an audit on the agency and its concessionaires.

When asked about the status of the dam, the MWSS said the contractor, China Energy Engineering Corporation, is conducting further investigation to come up with the detailed engineering design for the ₱12.2 billion project.