Indigenous People commission approves Kalinga dam project | SunStar

Indigenous People commission approves Kalinga dam project

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Indigenous People commission approves Kalinga dam project

Thursday, May 04, 2017

The project will proceed despite the opposition from the members of three sub-tribes in Kalinga.

CORDILLERA. The Chico River remains the lifeblood of Cordilleras winding through the country’s biggest mountain range. Kalinga tribes are once again up in arms following a proposed hydro electric plant in the area. (Milo Brioso)

THE National Commission for Indigenous People (NCIP) has given green light to the creation of the Chico River Hydro electric dam in Tabuk City in the province of Kalinga.

NCIP–Kalinga provincial officer Natividad Suggiayao said all guidelines set by law were followed in the approval of the 52MW Chico River hydro electric project.

Suggiyao said consultation process and voting was conducted in accordance to the NCIP’s set guidelines.

Members of the Naneng, Dallak and Minanga sub tribes and the residents of sitio Banat, Bagumbayan in Tabuk City are afraid of an outbreak of violence if the proposed hydro electric plant at the Chico River pushes through.

READ: Tribes oppose dam project in Chico River

The NCIP led the consultations with communities with majority of the residents vetoing in favor the project.

Suggiyao said elders and stakeholders were present in the voting and will now proceed with the negotiation stages before signing the memorandum of agreement adding stakeholders will be invited to participate in the negotiation stage to be able to give their input it in the Memorandum of Agreement being crafted.

Opposition continues to mount against the project as some opposition are conducting a rally as of this writing to fight the apparent approval of the hydroelectric dam.

The hydro project is spearheaded by the San Lorenzo Builders and Developers Group (Karayan Inc.)

Protesters say the hydro will destroy ancestral inheritance and the land where ancestors are buried.

The protests are reminiscent of the life struggle of Macliing Dulag, who died fighting against the construction of the Chico Dam during the Marcos regime.

Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on May 05, 2017.

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