Last update:
2022-01-20

Balog-Balog Multipurpose Dam Project, Tarlac, Luzon, The Philippines

The Balog-Balog dam and irrigation project, proposed in the '90s is still under construction. It could displace at least 1,650 mostly indigenous Aeta families and aggravate flood risks.



Description:

After more than five decades since it was broached, the Balog-Balog dam and irrigation Project, proposed by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) in Tarlac has not been completed. The construction of the Balog-Balog Multi-Purpose Project Phase 2 (BBMP2) in Tarlac, supposed to be finished in 2018 to produce 43.5 megawatts of electricity and store 560 million cubic meters of water [2] has been extended up to 2022 because of delays.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Balog-Balog Multipurpose Dam Project, Tarlac, Luzon, The Philippines
Country:Philippines
State or province:Tarlac
Location of conflict:San Jose, Tarlac
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Water
Project Details and Actors
Project details

43.5 megawatts of electricity from its hydropower component and also store 560 million cubic meters of water [2].

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Project area:34,500 hectares[1]
Level of Investment for the conflictive project255.694.357 (P13.37-billion [1])
Affected Population:1,650 [3]. more than 2,000 families of peasants and indigenous peoples from about 33 sitios feared to be displaced [4]
Start of the conflict:1999
Company names or state enterprises:Guangxi Hydroelectric Construction Bureau from China
A.M. Oreta & Co., Inc. from Philippines
Relevant government actors:The Regional Development Council (RDC) Investment Coordination Committee
National Irrigation Administration (NIA)
International and Finance InstitutionsJapan Bank for International Cooperation ((JBIC) ) from Japan
World Bank (WB)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:KAMANDAG: Kaisahan ng ARtista at MAnunulat Na ayaw sa Development AGgression
Bai Indigenous Women's Network
Peasant Alliance of Central Luzon.
Dumagat-Sierra Madre,
Dumagat-Rizal, ,
Protect Sierra Madre,
Task Force Indigenous Peoples Rights,
Kalikasan Peoples Network for the Environment,
AGHAM,
UCCP-Integrated Development Program for the Indigenous People,
Katribu Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas,
Water for the People Network.
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Aetas, Dumagats
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Desertification/Drought, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow)
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil erosion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood
Potential: Violations of human rights, Increase in violence and crime
Outcome
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Strengthening of participation
Proposal and development of alternatives:They are calling on the government to preserve the bio-diversity of the mountains in Tarlac and Zambales, stop the Balog-balog project and support a communal system of irrigation, instead of building a mega-dam [5]. This will protect the rights of indigenous communities and preserve their ownership of ancestral lands [3].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Despite the delayed construction of the project, which has not been completed yet, the reasons have not been environmental or social concerns but technical and economic issues.
Sources & Materials

[1]Inquirer (2019) NIA gets extension for Balog-balog Dam construction in Tarlac (accessed: 4/5/2022)
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[2]Tarlakenyo (2020) Balog-Balog Dam Fast-Tracked (accessed: 4/5/2022)
[click to view]

[3]DW (2018) Filipinos resist China-funded dams amid Beijing's growing clout in Southeast Asia (accessed: 4/5/2022)
[click to view]

[4]Gauri lankesh News (2021 ) Free Joseph Canlas, respect Filipino farmers’ right to fight land grabs: PANAP (accessed: 4/5/2022)
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[5]Bulatlat (2010) Mega-Dam Project in Tarlac Remains a Threat to Aetas (accessed: 4/5/2022)
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[7]Tarlac Weekender (2017) Balog-Balog Dam, Beneficial Or To Cause Misery? (accessed: 4/5/2022)
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[8]Business mirror (2017) Controversy hounds Balog-Balog Dam project in Tarlac (accessed: 4/5/2022)
[click to view]

[9] Inquirer (2019) NIA gets extension for Balog-balog Dam construction in Tarlac (accessed: 4/5/2022)
[click to view]

[10]AIPP (2018) Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact( 2018) Philippines: Congress urged to investigate ‘Build, Build, Build’ dam projects (accessed: 4/5/2022)
[click to view]

Phil Star Global (2012) P15-billion Tarlac dam project underway (accessed: 4/5/2022)
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Teresa Sanz; [email protected]
Last update20/01/2022
Conflict ID:5806
Comments
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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