Marathon hearings held on Writ of Kalikasan over JRMP

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014


THE Court of Appeals is conducting marathon hearings since early this year over a petition for the Writ of Kalikasan and subsequent issuance of a temporary environmental protection order (TEPO) against the Jalaur River Multi-purpose Project Stage II.

The petition was filed by former Iloilo Representative Augusto “Boboy” Syjuco.

Bayan Muna Iloilo head Hope Hervilla said they are hopeful the CA will finish conducting at least four more hearings and the case filed against the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) will be given a closure in their favor of stopping the implementation of the P11.2-billion mega dam project in the hinterlands of Calinog, Iloilo in central Panay.

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Hervilla said a group of environmentalists composed of a Korean anthropologist and a Filipino biologist, together with their local counterparts and some Tumandok indigenous people, visited the dam site for two days in Barangay Agcalaga, Calinog to survey the environmental and geological situation including the plight of affected indigenous people.

Korean Jung Bub Mo, a PhD Candidate of Anthropology representing the UP Diliman Center for Green ODA, and PUP biology graduate JM Ayuste, said the government must take into consideration the plight of the indigenous people whose farms were destroyed by trucks and other heavy equipment building a road to the dam site.

Syjuco filed a case with the Supreme Court against the dam project in Iloilo which was spearheaded by Ilonggo Senate President Franklin M. Drilon intended to double crop production in the province of Iloilo.

The megadam project will provide sufficient irrigation to farmlands of 21 municipalities and once again, catapult Iloilo as the premier food producer of the country. The project will also provide bulk water supply of more than 25,000 cubic meters per day to augment the dwindling water supply of Iloilo City and provide 6 megawatts of power supply.

The project will also provide 17,000 job opportunities to the Ilonggos and assures food security and flood mitigation.

However, Syjuco claimed the project is not safe and asked the Supreme Court to issue the Writ last October 31, 2013 but failed to issue the TEPO prayed for. Moreover, the high court referred the case to the appellate court for further proceedings.

Accordingly, as no TEPO or injunctive writ was issued by the Supreme Court, the NIA continued implementing the mega dam project in Iloilo.

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