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Balog-Balog Multipurpose Dam Project, Tarlac, Luzon, The Philippines

The Balog-Balog dam and irrigation project, proposed in the '90s is still under construction. It could displace at least 1,650 mostly indigenous Aeta families and aggravate flood risks.


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 [2] has been extended up to 2022 because of delays.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Balog-Balog Multipurpose Dam Project, Tarlac, Luzon, The Philippines
State or province:Tarlac
Location of conflict:San Jose, Tarlac
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

43.5 megawatts of electricity from its hydropower component and also store 560 million cubic meters of water [2].

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Project area:34,500 hectares[1]
Level of Investment for the conflictive project255.694.357 (P13.37-billion [1])
Affected Population:1,650 [3]. more than 2,000 families of peasants and indigenous peoples from about 33 sitios feared to be displaced [4]
Start of the conflict:1999
Company names or state enterprises:Guangxi Hydroelectric Construction Bureau from China
A.M. Oreta & Co., Inc. from Philippines
Relevant government actors:The Regional Development Council (RDC) Investment Coordination Committee
National Irrigation Administration (NIA)
International and Finance InstitutionsJapan Bank for International Cooperation ((JBIC) ) from Japan
World Bank (WB)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:KAMANDAG: Kaisahan ng ARtista at MAnunulat Na ayaw sa Development AGgression
Bai Indigenous Women's Network
Peasant Alliance of Central Luzon.
Dumagat-Sierra Madre,
Dumagat-Rizal, ,
Protect Sierra Madre,
Task Force Indigenous Peoples Rights,
Kalikasan Peoples Network for the Environment,
UCCP-Integrated Development Program for the Indigenous People,
Katribu Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas,
Water for the People Network.
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Aetas, Dumagats
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Desertification/Drought, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow)
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil erosion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood
Potential: Violations of human rights, Increase in violence and crime
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Strengthening of participation
Proposal and development of alternatives:They are calling on the government to preserve the bio-diversity of the mountains in Tarlac and Zambales, stop the Balog-balog project and support a communal system of irrigation, instead of building a mega-dam [5]. This will protect the rights of indigenous communities and preserve their ownership of ancestral lands [3].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Despite the delayed construction of the project, which has not been completed yet, the reasons have not been environmental or social concerns but technical and economic issues.
Sources & Materials

[1]Inquirer (2019) NIA gets extension for Balog-balog Dam construction in Tarlac (accessed: 4/5/2022)
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[2]Tarlakenyo (2020) Balog-Balog Dam Fast-Tracked (accessed: 4/5/2022)
[click to view]

[3]DW (2018) Filipinos resist China-funded dams amid Beijing's growing clout in Southeast Asia (accessed: 4/5/2022)
[click to view]

[4]Gauri lankesh News (2021 ) Free Joseph Canlas, respect Filipino farmers’ right to fight land grabs: PANAP (accessed: 4/5/2022)
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[5]Bulatlat (2010) Mega-Dam Project in Tarlac Remains a Threat to Aetas (accessed: 4/5/2022)
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[7]Tarlac Weekender (2017) Balog-Balog Dam, Beneficial Or To Cause Misery? (accessed: 4/5/2022)
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[8]Business mirror (2017) Controversy hounds Balog-Balog Dam project in Tarlac (accessed: 4/5/2022)
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[9] Inquirer (2019) NIA gets extension for Balog-balog Dam construction in Tarlac (accessed: 4/5/2022)
[click to view]

[10]AIPP (2018) Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact( 2018) Philippines: Congress urged to investigate ‘Build, Build, Build’ dam projects (accessed: 4/5/2022)
[click to view]

Phil Star Global (2012) P15-billion Tarlac dam project underway (accessed: 4/5/2022)
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Teresa Sanz; [email protected]
Last update20/01/2022
Conflict ID:5806
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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