Kalinga tribe reiterates opposition to dam project

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By ROD ASURIN
www.nordis.net

PINUKPUK, Kalinga – Over a hundred leaders and members of the Limos tribe in Pinukpuk, Kalinga, reiterated their opposition against the Saltan E Hydroelectric Power Project (HEPP), which is currently undergoing the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) process.

Participants in the November 12 forum and community meeting agreed that the project would destroy their communities, livelihood, and culture. They expressed concern about flooding, siltation, and possible displacement of residents.

Sumkad ti Umili para iti Matagoan, Karbengan, Aglawlaw ken Dayaw (SUMKADD) convenor and tribe member Elma Awingan-Tuazon urged the participants to strengthen their campaign. She reiterated the need to gather more signatures for their petition against the project and more educational discussion on the issue.

SUMKADD, a broad environmental alliance in Kalinga. The acronym is also the Kalinga term for “rise and resist.”

UNITY BUILDING. SUMKADD conveners organized the Forum on Large Dams, which was followed by a meeting to reiterate their call against the construction of dams along the Saltan River. (SUMKADD)

More than 500 tribe members signed the petition, which they submitted to the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP). The office is expected to validate the document; however, the tribe is still awaiting the validation.

The local government of Pinukpuk has also rejected the project through a municipal council resolution.

Saltan E is one of the hydropower projects of JBD Water Power Inc. (JWPI) in the province. The other two are Saltan D and Mabaca HEPPS.

Barangays of Poswoy and Ababa-an of the Poswoy tribe and the villages of Salegseg, Gawaan, and Balantoy of the Sologsog tribe rejected Saltan D in September. Poswoy also rejected the Saltan E in the same month. Only Dao-angan gave their consent for the projects.

Based on the project brochure, JWPI will build a 50-meter dam for Saltan E, producing 45-megawatt. The company plans to put up the dam in the triboundary of Limos, Dao-angan, and Poswoy, with its powerhouse in Brgys. Apatan and Allaguia of Poswoy. It will directly affect the ancestral domain of at least three tribes of Pinukpuk and Balbalan. # nordis.net

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