THE DIOCESE of Infanta, with support from the Philippine Catholic bishops and heads of major religious orders, has added its voice to the opposition against the Kaliwa Dam project, which is planned as a new water source for the capital, Metro Manila, and surrounding provinces. In a pastoral letter dated Nov. 15 and published on Sunday, Nov. 18, the diocese said, “After listening to the strong opposition to the construction of the New Centennial Water Source Kaliwa Dam Project, we too express our opposition to the said project and strongly recommend to look for alternative sources…” It cited six reasons, including the displacement of the Dumagat-Remontados indigenous people from their ancestral domain, calamity threats to downstream communities, and uncertain disastrous impact brought about by climate change. The local church sector also questioned government transparency on the project plan. The letter, signed by Bishop Bernardino C. Cortez, also called for a “transparent dialogue” with government agencies, and expressed support to a congressional inquiry. The religious leaders further urged “all to ‘rethink how to use water’ in terms of the demand-side and consumption and protect our environment.”
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