KALIWA DAM. National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Region IV-A (Calabarzon) Director Luis G. Banua discusses the Kaliwa Dam project in Tanay, rizal during the 4th Regional Development Council Full Council Meeting held at NEDA Region IV-A, Barangay Milagrosa, Calamba City, Laguna on Dec. 6, 2018. (Photo courtesy of NEDA Calabarzon)
CALAMBA CITY, Laguna – The Executive Committee (Execom) of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in Region IV-A (Calabarzon) has endorsed the proposed multi-billion peso New Centennial Water Supply Project – Kaliwa Dam in Tanay, Rizal.
The endorsement, however, carries a condition that “project proponent Metro Manila Water and Sewerage System (MWSS) will address the concerns of the municipalities that will be affected by the project.”
In an interview with Philippine News Agency (PNA), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Region IV-A Director and concurrent RDC Vice-Chair Luis G. Banua said that other than addressing the concerns of General Nakar and Infanta, both in Quezon plus three other municipalities in Rizal, namely Tanay, Teresa and Antipolo, the project proponent is also expected to update the Calabarzon RDC of its progress.
“Although the project is still in the design phase, even its financing is not yet clear, once the project is in progress, they should regularly report to RDC, otherwise we can withdraw our endorsement,” Banua said.
Withdrawal of endorsement equates to work stoppage, “which the RDC has a power to do, if we find the project detrimental to progress,” Banua said.
This water security project is part of the Duterte administration’s Build, Build, Build’ program.
Earlier, Maynilad President and CEO Ramoncito S. Fernandez said the project was in line with “government efforts to ensure water supply sustainability and reliability for Metro Manila residents. It is an additional raw water source that will augment the supply from Angat Dam, which is currently the only major source being tapped.”
Fernandez said the construction of the new dam is essential to meeting the water needs of an ever-growing population for the long term as it will also alleviate Metro Manila’s reliance on a single raw water source.
The PHP12.2-billion Dam project is expected to supply additional 600 million liters daily (MLD) to Metro Manila and nearby provinces starting 2023.
But several groups have been calling on the cancellation of the project, citing concerns with the environmental impact of the project, its alleged dislocation of communities and the terms of the Chinese funding. “Infanta is against it,” Banua said.
Although the Kaliwa Dam will benefit Metro Manila water supply, we stand by our condition, “wag pabayaan ang concerns ng lima naming bayan,” (never set aside the concerns of our 5 municipalities), he added.
The dam project endorsement was one of the accomplishments during the 4th Quarter RDC Full Council Meeting held at the NEDA Region IV-A office in Milagrosa village here on Dec. 6. (PNA)