A MAN arrives at a shallow part of Agos River, where the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System is planning to build a dam. — PHILSTAR FILE PHOTO / EFIGENIO TOLEDO IV

THE Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) said on Tuesday that the Kaliwa Dam in Rizal and Quezon provinces is now 22% complete.

“(Including) detailed engineering design… the Kaliwa Dam is now 22% complete,” Leonor C. Cleofas, MWSS administrator, told reporters.

Ms. Cleofas said that MWSS hopes to complete the Kaliwa Dam, which will serve as the new source of water for Metro Manila, by the end of 2026, with operations commencing by 2027. 

Last year, the MWSS said a memorandum of agreement was concluded with the indigenous peoples around the Kaliwa river, a waterway in Rizal and Quezon provinces.

The Dumagat-Remontado indigenous peoples who have an ancestral domain claim, received a P160-million “disturbance fee” for the construction of the dam.

“It was a recognition that they are the owners of the ancestral domain; again, there is no transfer of ownership. Their ownership for the land is being recognized through the disturbance fee,” Josefina R. Agusti, regional hearing officer of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Calabarzon, told reporters.

She said P80 million each was distributed to Tanay Dumagat-Remontado Ancestral Domain Development, Inc. and to Pinagtaanan ne Dumagat-Remontado de General Nakar, the two IP organizations will also receive a share of the revenue, known as the “benefit share,” once the dam starts operations. 

“After the awarding of P80 million, of course we will be expecting their yearly benefit share which is P36 million for General Nakar, Quezon. For Tanay, Rizal, that is another P10 million per year,” Ms. Agusti said.

The Kaliwa Dam is a bulk water supply project which is a component of the New Centennial Water Source program of the MWSS. It is expected to supply 600 million liters per day of water.  — Ashley Erika O. Jose