THE Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) needs the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of six indigenous groups to start construction of the P12.2 billion New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project (NCWS-KDP) which is being funded by China’s Export-Import Bank.
In order for the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples to allow the start of the P12.2-B NCWS-KDP, the MWSS first needs the FPIC of the six tribes which will be affected by the project.
However, Agta-Dumagat leader Marcelino Tena said only one of the six indigenous groups has given its FPIC to the MWSS and claimed that it had received a P20 million fund from the agency.
Tena revealed this during the recent deliberation of the House Committee on Indigenous Cultural Communities and Indigenous Peoples.
MWSS deputy administrator Leonor Cleofas said the project contractor, China Energy Engineering Corp. (CEEC), should secure all the permits and clearances needed before construction works start.
Cleofas said the CEEC is merely conducting surveys and a geological investigation to come up with a detailed engineering design for the dam.
Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate and ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro have called for a special audit on MWSS funds following Tena’s revelation that the agency had provided P20 million to the tribe which had given its FPIC.
“Parang padulas ito, they are using the carrot and stick method,” claimed Zarate.
IP leader Thelma Aumentado explained that the money was part of MWSS assistance to the tribe affected with the construction of another project, the Angat-Umiray project in Quezon.