Just weeks ago. The Philippine capital which includes Makati, Mandaluyong, Taguig, San Juan, Quezon City, Pasig, Parañaque, Marikina, Manila City, municipality of Pateros, and towns of Rizal has since been subjected to another round of unnecessary and undue sufferings brought about by what appeared to be a sudden and abrupt water outage. Thousands of city dwellers wokr up with no water even affecting small to large businesses in the area. Though, Philippine officials instantly assured the public that they’ve been trying to work out a solution to fix the problem. Even eventually suggesting to speed up infrastracture deal with China to build the Kaliwa dam despite it’s immediate danger to wildlife and ethnic minorities living in the area.
Open the bypass according to a veteran engineer who worked for MWSS
In a Facebook post several days ago by Angel Salazar. He said that the MWSS has since ordered the closure of the bypass which caused water shortages in the region. And that to fix the issue. MWSS must order for its opening.
And then the thread continues with even the MWSS Chief ironically joked how could someone ordered its closure — it might be his evil twin.
What is the bypass? According to Angel Salazar. This would allow both water companies to share their water resources and ease the water outage currently affecting many of the Manila residents and businesses. In a drawn sketch below. It shows where the ‘bypass’ is located and why it is important.
What if nobody found out about this? Should the people of Manila suffer more?
The answer to this question is yes. Duterte and his corrupt politicians who’s about to benefit from an upcoming high-interest loan from China did not expect that a veteran engineer who worked in the agency for so many years would reveal this atrocious plan. Unfortunately for Duterte and his friends. It backfired miserably. Many people condemns MWSS inaction and even the Senate pitched in for a thorough investigation on this matter. As he explained further in the post below.
High-interest Chinese Loans and More Chinese workers to build Laiban/Kaliwa dam?
Perhaps, the most ironic thing about this issue is that the same Duterte’s MWSS appointee whom the veteran engineer Angel Salazar had an argument with blurts out the urgent need to pursue the Kaliwa Dam project with China as soon as possible. Uh.oh Do we see the warning lights here? So this could mean that all these water outages and sufferings were all connected to this new dam project with China. Though this has been planned decades ago even from the time of Marcos. However, the issue lies with its deadly impact in the environment. As eloquently put by CBCP website. Here’s the reason why such project must not proceed.
- It will inundate the ancestral domain of the Dumagat-Remontados, uprooting them from the Sierra Madre where their ancestors lived for centuries enjoying a symbiotic relationship with the earth like the children to their mother. Undeniably, until now the indigenous people have not given an FPIC (Free Prior and Informed Consent) to the Kaliwa dam project as required by R.A. 8371.
- Kaliwa dam to be constructed over the Infanta Fault will be a “sword hanging over the head” of 100,000 people living downstream the Kaliwa River. Etched in their memory is the 2004 flash flood that left 1,000 killed and over million worth of properties destroyed.
- Climate change and its ill-effects are the ‘new normal’ that could no longer be ignored yet we do not know of any study made on climate and the Kaliwa dam. The ambivalent nature of climate change can cause random and sudden flooding. Japan with its highly advanced technology was devasted by the earthquake in 2011. The catastrophic collapse of the dam in Laos last July 25, 2018 has a message to all of us.
- Global warming was 0.8 degree centigrade when Yolanda struck us with 315 kph winds. This year we have reached 1 degree centigrade. How much rainfall can this dam hold when another Yolanda comes in Quezon? About the landslides?
- NEDA has kept the data on Kaliwa dam secret with the word “confidential” despite the much publicized Freedom of Information E.O. No. 2, series of 2016.
- This project which is connected with the Laiban dam has been in the pipeline for 30 years, yet until now it does not even have the necessary Environment Compliance Certificate (ECC) as mandated by R.A. 7586.
So what should the government do instead?
Angat and IPO dams supply Metro Manila with 4,000 MLD of water but a big percentage of this is lost due to leaks. With the P18 Billion budget for constructing Kaliwa Dam, there can be alternative sources of water, many of which are being advocated now:
- Launch a massive education campaign to convince the 13 million Metro Manila residents to learn “water management”. This would reduce water consumption significantly. This could be bad news for business but best for the environment.
- Harvest rain water which flood us perennially and implement the pertinent provision of the National Building Code of the Philippines (RA 1096).
- Fast track the recovery of the NRW (non-revenue water) through fixing leaks;
- Rehabilitate the Pasig-Laguna River Basin which would cost only P13 Billion (estimated by Dr. Esteban Godilano, an environmental scientist).
- Adopt the Singapore New Water technology which treats wastewater to become potable.
- And most importantly, protect and expand our dwindling forests that serves as our largest watershed and these would refill our underground aquifers which are now over extracted.
Duterte’s hardcore Chinese leanings — may not bode well for the Philippines
The Philippine president has officially been a hardcore Chinese lacky eager to please the perpetual leader of China even if it meant suffering and destruction to his homeland and its people. How in the people’s right mind continues to praise and express support to this mass-murderer, swindler and a dictatorial wannabe dreaming of installing yet another ‘Marcosian’ dynasty so he can comfortably be protected by International pressures and prosecution in his War against Drugs which left more than 25k dead.
I understand that the President may or want to have a more independent foreign policy. However, selling us out to the Chinese would do us more harm than good. Given that its own navy invaded our shoals and harassed our own fishermen. So we could not discount the possibility for a more devastating Chinese invasion to the Philippine homeland in its bid to secure its holdings in the South China Sea.