Lawmaker seeks stop to Kaliwa dam project, big mining

Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat on Wednesday sought to stop the proposed construction of Kaliwa Dam as well as large-scale mining operations, saying these will bring more calamities.

after 3 successive typhoons triggered massive flooding, landslides, fatalities and losses on livelihood and agriculture in various part of the country.

“Ang trahedya na nagdulot o ugat nitong matinding pagbaha at landslide ay ang nagpapatuloy pa rin na mga proyektong nakakasira sa ating kalikasan, katulad ng malalaking pagmimina na nagkakalbo sa mga kabundukan at kagubatan, at ang mga dambuhalang dam na nagpapakawala ng napakaraming tubig na naglulubog sa maraming bayan (The causes of these tragedies of massive flooding and landslides are the projects that are destructive to nature, such as large-scale mining that denude mountains and forests, and the gigantic dams that released large amounts of water),” she said.

The lawmaker pointed out that the P18.7-billion Kaliwa Dam project would only cause more destruction.

“Hindi kaunlaran, kundi panganib ang idudulot nito sa taumbayan. Tumatambad na lamang sa atin ang mga delubyong dulot ng mga mapaminsalang proyektong ito pag tumama na sa atin ang kalamidad. Hindi solusyon ang mega dam, tulad ng Kaliwa Dam sa kahirapan ng pagkukunan ng tubig (This would bring danger, not progress. Mega dams such as the Kaliwa dam is not a solution to the scarcity of water),” she said.

Cullamat, a Lumad leader, also cited the impact of the project on indigenous peoples such as Dumagats in General Nakar, Quezon and Infanta, Quezon and Teresa and Tanay, Rizal.

“Sa simula pa lamang ng proyekto ay kahirapan na ang dulot nito sa mga katutubo. Ang pagpigil ng pagdaloy ng tubig sa ilog ay makakadulot lamang ng pagkawala ng kabuhayan ng mga Dumagat. Ang pagkamkam ng kabundukan ay magsisilbi lamang sa interes ng mga dayuhan, at malalaking kumpanya (Even at the onset of the project, it has caused suffering to the indigenous peoples. Restraining the flow of the river would only cause the loss of livelihood to the Dumagat. Usurping the mountains would only serve the interest of foreign entities and large companies),” she said.

The lawmaker urged the government to reallocate the funding for the dam for the immediate aid and rehabilitation of affected communities.

The Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday that Typhoon Ulysses caused at least P3.8 billion in agricultural damage.

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