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Save Pulangi Alliance, Bukidnon province, Mindanao, Philippines

Environmental defender Margarito Cabal was killed in 2012. However, the 5th hydropower project in the Pulangi River that he fought against, seems to be going ahead in 2018, for a 250 MW dam.


In 2018 it was announced that that First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative Inc. (FIBECO) and Pulangi Hydro Power Corp. (PHPC) signed a memorandum of understanding on March 8 2018 to begin construction of the 250-MW Pulangi (also spelled Pulangui) fifth hydropower plant in Bukidnon in Mindanao, according to the Philippines National Electrification Administration (NEA).

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Save Pulangi Alliance, Bukidnon province, Mindanao, Philippines
State or province:Bukidnon, Mindanao
Location of conflict:Kiwabe
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:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Pulangi River, also spelled Pulangui, is the longest river in Bukidnon. It is one of the major tributaries of the Rio Grande de Mindanao, an extensive river system in Mindanao, Philippines. It has a length of 320 kilometers and traverses through majority of the cities and municipalities of Bukidnon from its source in Barangay Kalabugao, Impasugong, Bukidnon.

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Project area:3300
Level of Investment for the conflictive project800,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:1,060 households
Start of the conflict:2012
Company names or state enterprises:NAPOCOR from Philippines
First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative Inc. (FIBECO) from Philippines
Relevant government actors:Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA)
Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Kalikasan – People’s Network for the Environment (PNE).
Task Force Save Pulangi.
Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan n Pilipinas (KAMP)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Religious groups
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Argument for the sacredness of Apo Mamalu, a burial place
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Violent targeting of activists
Proposal and development of alternatives:MANILA, 12 August 2015 (Bulatlat)– Indigenous peoples ... call for a stop to at least six mega dam and mini-hydro power projects being undertaken by the Aquino administration. “Building of dams may be able to produce electricity or provide irrigation services and flood control, but to indigenous peoples, it has meant erosion of culture and ethnocide,” said Jill Cariño, executive director and convenor of the Philippine Task Force for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights (TFIP). TFIP, a network of 12 NGOs, along with the Katribu Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (Katribu) trooped to the House of Representatives in Quezon City to submit a petition calling for a stop to mega dam projects. Copies of the petition were submitted to district representatives in the affected areas, and to the House committee on environment and natural resources. The petition want to stop the following six dam projects: the Kaliwa River or Laiban Dam in Rizal and Quezon, the Jalaur dam in Panay island, the Balog-balog Dam in Tarlac province, the Pulangi Mega Dam V in North Cotabato and Bukidnon, and the Tinoc Minihydro power plant and Alimit Hydropower Complex in Ifugao. (3)
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:There was no reddress for the killing of Margarito Cabal in 2012 (and also of so many other environmental defenders in the Philippines), and the project seems to be going ahead in 2018 with Chinese finance for a 250 MW dam.
Sources & Materials

(1) May 13, 2012. Environmental activist shot dead in Bukidnon

Rhodina Villanueva.
[click to view]

(4) Business World. Carmelito Q. Francisco, correspondent, Davao City. . Chinese firms in talks for new plants in Agus-Pulangi hydro complexes. March 16, 2017
[click to view]

March 16, 2017, Bukidnon News
[click to view]

(2) Human Rights Watch, Philippines: Killings of Environment Advocates Unpunished
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

(3) Damn the dams’ | Indigenous peoples say no to destructive energy projects. Dee Ayroso August 12, 2015
[click to view]

Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan n Pilipinas (KAMP) condemned the killing of Margarito Cabal, a government employee from Kibawe, Bukidnon
[click to view]

Meta information
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:3546
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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