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Kaliwa Dam – New Centennial Water Source Project (NCWS), Quezon, Philippines

While urban Metro Manila demands more and more water, social and environmental costs are shifted to indigenous rural communities, who in turn demand to restore the true source of clean water: healthy forests and watersheds.


The main objective of the New Centennial Water Source Project (NCWS), as stated by the Philippine government, is to increase water security through increasing water supply in the Metro Manila region, to meet future water demand and to reduce dependence on the Angat Dam reservoir. The broader project consists of two dams, one is the Kaliwa Dam as described in this entry; the other is the Laiban Dam and Laiban Hydro-Electric Power Plant (HEPP); the latter developed as separate project under a different procedure [1]. The two dams were first submitted as one large project, which was later on divided and submitted as two separate projects, following recommendations of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) [2]. The Kaliwa-dam project was approved by the NEDA board on May 29, 2014 [3]. Construction phase has been reported to be scheduled to terminate in 2019 [2].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Kaliwa Dam – New Centennial Water Source Project (NCWS), Quezon, Philippines
State or province:Quezon, Rizal
Location of conflict:Tanay Municipality
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Dams and water distribution conflicts
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

The initial project, containing both dam projects, was developed within the context of the Water Security Legacy (WSL) Roadmap proposed by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) in 2012-2016 [10]. After the project resubmission, in which the large project was divided into two separate ones, the New Centennial Water Source Project (NCWS) project includes now the construction of the 600 million-liters-per-day (MLD) supply Kaliwa Dam; a 27.7km long Water Conveyance tunnel; and two 300 MLD WaterTreatment Plans [2].

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Project area:9,700
Level of Investment:485,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:1,465 families to be displaced
Start of the conflict:2012
Company names or state enterprises:Obrascón Huarte Lain S.A. (OHL) from Spain - construction
RebelGroup from Philippines - advisory, consulting
Prime Metroline Holdings Inc from Philippines - asset management
San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders and Developers Group Inc. (SLRB) from Philippines - infrastructure development
Abengoa Abeinsa Business Development (ABEINSA) from Spain - construction
DM Consunji Inc (DMCI) from Philippines - engineering, construction
San Miguel Holdings Corporation from Philippines - construction
Filinvest Development Corporation from Philippines - construction, property development
Megawide Construction Corp. from Philippines - construction
Relevant government actors:Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS); National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Investment Coordination Committee (ICC); Public Private Partnership (PPP) Center, and others
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance Inc. (SSMNAI), comprised of: Ecowaste Coalition; Franciscan Missionaries of Mary Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (FMMJPIC); Franciscan Movement Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (FMJPIC); Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (SFIC); Great Work Movement; Green Convergence; Green Hope; Greenresearch Environmental Research Group (Greenresearch ERG); Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (JPICC-AMRSP); Multi Sectoral Action Group (MSAG) Aurora; Order of Friar Minors Conventual Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (OFMConJPIC); Order of Friar Minors Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation (OFM JPIC); Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA); Public Education & Awareness Campaign for the Environment (PEACE), Miriam College; Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society Inc. (SSMESI); Samahan ng mga Katutubong Agta na Ipinagtatanggol at Binabaka ang Lupaing Ninuno (SAGIBIN LN); Social Action Center - Antipolo (SAC); Task Force Sierra Madre (TFSM); Tribal Center Development (TCD)
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
Indigenous Dumagat, Remontado, Agta tribe
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Refusal of compensation
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
Potential: Malnutrition, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Infectious diseases
Other Health impactsPotential increases of water-borne diseases, such as Malaria
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Violations of human rights
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Institutional changes
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Development of alternatives:As published in a position paper by SSMNA [4], the large coalition of Civil Society Organizations proposes the following:
“Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance (SSMNA), in its advocacy against mega-dams, recommends, first and foremost, a genuine comprehensive, participative and corrupt-free program for the restoration of our watersheds and forests. The Alliance sees the National Greening Program of the present Administration as a false solution, not to mention, as just another venue for the rampant corruption within the DENR. Together with this, SSMNA also pushes the passing into law of the Forest Resources Bill which prioritizes the protection of our remaining forests. Budget for forest protection must also be increased. Any reforestation program would be irrelevant if forest protection, which should include genuine logging moratorium as well as mining moratorium, is not seriously prioritized.
SSMNA also strongly recommends uncorrupted repairs and improvements of the already existing dams, including the entire water pipe system. Of the 4,000 MLD capacity of Angat Dam, around 1600 MLD has been recorded as Maynilad and Manila Water’s combined “non-revenue” water or NRW (water leakages). When Maynilad and Manila Water took over our water system, they promised to lower the NRW to 32% by 2007. Has this promise been fulfilled? If the present non-revenue water would be reduced, we would have more water supply.
SSMNA also sees the need for a water conservation policy which would check the lifestyle of all consumers, exhorting them to responsible consumption and conservation of water. Water recycling and rainwater harvesting could also be considered in the formulation and promulgation of such a policy.”
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:As of May 2015, the project is moving forward.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997 (IPRA)
[click to view]

Revised implementing rules and regulations of R.A No. 6957, “an act authorizing the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of infrastructure projects by the private sector and for other purposes”, as amended by R. A. No. 7718.
[click to view]

[click to view]

Facebook page "No to Mega-Dams in Sierra Madre Save Sierra Madre Now"
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[10] Wikipedia on the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project (accessed 29/05/2015)
[click to view]

[2] Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System - New Centennial Water Supply Source Project (accessed 29/05/2015)
[click to view]

[3] Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System - New Centennial Water Source Project (accessed 29/05/2015)
[click to view]

[4] SSMNA's Position Paper on the Construction of Mega-Dams in Sierra Madre (accessed 29/05/2015)
[click to view]

[1] Republic of the Philippines - Public-Private Partnership (07/05/2012) Center - New Centennial Water Supply Source Project (accessed 29/05/2015)
[click to view]

[5] (13.10.2014): "Stop 2 Sierra Madre dam projects, Agta folk appeal" (accessed 29/05/2015)
[click to view]

[6] Press Release on SSMNA's Opposition to the New Centennial Water Source Project (accessed 29/05/2015)
[click to view]

[7] CBCP News (18/09/2013): "Eco group to mark Sierra Madre Day with protest vs mega-dams" (accessed 29/05/2015)
[click to view]

[8] Public-Private Partnership Center - Market Sounding for the New Centennial Water Source Project (NCWP) (accessed 29/05/2015)
[click to view]

[9] GMANews online (12/01/2015): "'Too many holidays' prompts MWSS to move prequalifying deadline for water PPP" (accessed 29/05/2015)
[click to view]

Other documents

Project map Source:
[click to view]

Protests Source:
[click to view]

Protests Source:
[click to view]

project area Source:
[click to view]

Defending the forest Source:
[click to view]

Protests Source:
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:A. Scheidel (ICTA-UAB) / arnim "dot" scheidel "at" gmail "dot" com
Last update29/05/2015
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