After more than five decades since it was broached, the Balog-Balog dam and irrigation Project, proposed by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) in Tarlac has not been completed. The construction of the Balog-Balog Multi-Purpose Project Phase 2 (BBMP2) in Tarlac, supposed to be finished in 2018 to produce 43.5 megawatts of electricity and store 560 million cubic meters of water  has been extended up to 2022 because of delays.
It was said that the P13.37-billion Project, one of the country’s most expensive dams, was designed to irrigate 34,500 hectares and increase cropping seasons to two for 23,000 farmers in Tarlac. Rice yields are supposed to increase from 3.1 metric tons to 5.2 MT per hectare under irrigated conditions  and flooding in low-lying areas would be reduced.
Nevertheless, activist groups like Kalikasan PNS claimed the Balog Balog Multipurpose Project (BBMP) in Tarlac could displace at least 1,650 mostly indigenous Aeta families and aggravate flood risks, endangering local communities of 29 villages, apart from destroying mountains and adversely impacting the environment . They claimed that “Balog-Balog will not mitigate flooding because the river itself does not cause flood”.
Furthermore, they denounce the impoverishment that would cause in the country since the construction of these mega-dams is funded by high-interest loans from China and Japan. The dam project was first proposed by former Senator Benigno Aquino and was about to be constructed by former president Corazon “Cory” Aquino in 1988, but was shelved after the 1990 earthquake and the 1991 Mt. Pinutubo eruption destroyed large infrastructure in Central and North Luzon .
However, during the presidency of Cory Aquino, Joseph Ejercito Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino some structures including irrigation canals and other appurtenant downstream components were constructed.
During the Arroyo regime in 2010, members of the Aberlin Aetas, a tribe in Tarlac, participated in the first-ever nationwide Lakbayan for land reform and justice, the national peasant caravan with other farmers and advocates of agrarian reform from different parts of the Philippines. They first reached the main office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Quezon City and then went to Mendiola in Manila to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the Mendiola Massacre (see the case in the atlas). They marched to avoid being driven away from their lands as a consequence of the government’s plans to build the Balog-Balog Dam, in Tarlac .
Due to insufficient funding and some ethical issues in awarding the project for the construction of the north dam canal and the fact that the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) “simplified” the bidding for the construction , the construction of the dam itself was put on hold until 2017 when the National Irrigation Administration awarded the construction of the second phase of the project to the joint venture of the Quezon City-based ITP Construction and the Chinese firm Guangxi Hydro-Electric Construction Bureau Lmtd for P5.86 Billion, which will be located on the upper Bulsa River near Tarlac and was expected to be finished in 3 years.
Nevertheless, in 2019, the Regional Development Council (RDC) Investment Coordination Committee in Central Luzon approved the request of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) for an extension, extended up to 2022 because of delays. NIA reported physical and financial accomplishments of the project at 25.71 and 31.70 percent, respectively. NIA cited bad weather conditions, resettlement problems, and right-of-way issues as causes of delays .
San Jose municipality issued a “cease and desist order” to the NIA strongly opposing the construction of the dam claiming that it does not comply with the legal requirements. For example, the BBMP Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) was obtained in 199 and by law, the ECC expires after 5 years of not being used. They claimed that the construction was illegal .
In 2018, Groups opposing large dams led by Katribu Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas and representatives of affected communities and support groups joined in the filing of the resolutions seeking the investigation of the sustainability of existing large dams and construction of additional large dams in the country; and, investigation of alleged anomalies in the Tarlac Balog-Balog Multipurpose Dam Project Phase II (TBBMP-II). This mega-dam Project, together with the New Clark Green City, the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project in Panay province, and the Upper Tabuk Hydro Project (UTHP) in Kalinga province are part of the $158 billion infrastructure project developed by President Rodrigo Duterte's "Build, Build, Build." That comprises 75 projects ranging from the construction of new airports, railway lines, and roads to better irrigation and flood control mechanisms. This Project is a result of the closer ties of the country with China that President Rodrigo Duterte forged and won billions of dollars of investment for the country and is part of China’s “hydro-diplomacy” policy .