‘RESPECT OUR LAND’ | Dumagat tribe members protest vs construction of Kaliwa dam
1 month ago
March 22, 2019 – Members of the Dumagat tribe gathered outside the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System offices to protest the construction of the Kaliwa dam on their ancestral land.
“Unang masisira sa amin kinabukasan, kabuhayan, tirahan, mga kuweba naming sagrado, ‘yun ang mawawala sa amin,” said Dumagat tribe member Ebong Peñamante.
The tribe stressed that other indigenous communities suffered a worse fate following the construction of the Angat dam, and that they do not want to follow down the same path.
Tribe members say companies only plan to profit off the project, as opposed to actually saving Metro Manila from another water crisis.
“Ang pagpasok ng dam ay hindi para makatulong sa Maynila kundi gawing negosyo lamang ng malalaking negosyante,” said Marcelino Tana.
Meanwhile, the National Water Resources Board says the current water supply is not enough to cater to the needs of the growing population.
Studies show that each person needs around 1,700 cubic meters of water per year. In the Philippines, each person gets around 1,400 to 1,500 cubic meters of water per year.
Former environmental department secretary Elisea Gozun says there is still a need to create a Department of Water that will streamline all water concerns.
“There’s not much appreciation in the legislative and even in the country as a whole, as a people, tayo of how important water is. Nakikita lang natin na importante ang tubig kapag kinukulang na tayo. And we have this misperception na since ang dami nating tubig, ang dami nating ulan, nandyan lang yan,” said Gozun.