Indigenous tribes seek gov’t help against construction of dams in their communities

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Johnny Basilio, secretary general of Aeta Tribal Association, said they need the help of the government in stopping the construction of huge dams in the communities of indigenous people.

“Pinapanawagan po namin sa ating gobyerno at sa ating mamamayang Pilipino na kami ay suportahan na mapatigil ito. Kung talagang nagmamalasakit tayo sa kalikasan at sa ginawang kamay ng Bathala, wag mong sirain ang Kanyang ginawa (We are calling on the government and fellow Filipinos to support us in stopping this. If you really care for the environment and the creations of God, don’t destroy His creations),” said Basilio.

Basilio noted that thousands of residents in San Jose, Tarlac have already been affected by the phase two construction of the Balog Balog Dam in the said area.

Balog Balog dam is just one of the 400 dams planned to be built with hydro power projects that critics claim will affect the indigenous people.

Katribu Kalipunan ng mga Tatutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas Secretary General Pya Maciling Malayao said, “Nananawagan kami kay President Duterte na pakinggan ung panawagan ng mga katutubong mamamayan, ayaw namin ng pagtatayo ng mga dambuhalang dam sa aming komunidad. Ito ay para sa hindi makikinabang para sa katutubo mamamayan at kapinsalaan ito sa aming kabuhayan at mga susunod na henerasyon (We are calling on President Duterte to listen to the call of indigenous people. We don’t want the construction of huge dams in our community. The constructions are not for the benefits of the indigenous people, and would only destroy our livelihoods and that of the next generation) .” — Roderic Medonsa / UNTV News & Rescue)

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