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Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project (JRMPP) Phase II Dam, Iloilo, Philippines


Description:

The proposed “mega-dam” Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Phase II (JRMPP) may be termed “mega” due to its economic costs, social and environmental impacts and potential for environmental disasters; but it is a small dam project in terms of irrigated area and production capacity of only 6.6 MW. The project has received therefore large critics and protests, and is alleged to be likely related to corruption and private interests, rather than to the development of the region [1].

The dam is a joint project of the Philippine and Korean government and the Korean Export-Import Bank (Exim), carrying a project investment of 11.212 Billion Philippine Pesos (around 250 million USD) [4], driven by Senator Franklin Drilon, who plays a key role in the project [2]. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between these involved parties was signed on December 20, 2011 [3].

(The JRMP Phase 1 project was a quite different project, in which four national irrigation systems were rehabilitated under World Bank funding, during 1977 and 1983. The second phase has never materialized due to its unacceptable low economic returns [12].) The reservoir would hold around 197 million cubic meters of waters, with a dam up to 102 meters [12]. Despite its high costs and large social and environmental impacts, it has a comparatively small planned electricity production capacity of only 6.6 MW [1;12]. The dam was initially planned to serve all-year long irrigation of 32,000ha of agricultural land, and to supply water to households and businesses [7]. However, 22,340 hectares of the 32,000ha are already irrigated by existing irrigation systems; hence the real added irrigation area would be only 9,500ha [10].

The dam was reported to be partly financed by the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which has recently been declared as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, due to dubious financial issues and potential abuse for bribery [1;4].

The project is strongly motivated by Senator Franklin Drilon [2].

A PHP 8.95 billion (around 200 million USD) bank loan would come from the South Korean government through the Export Import Bank of Korea [4]. The remaining costs would be covered by the Philippine government [3].

Various contractors are reported to be involved in the dam construction; among them is the Newington Company [6].

While the government claims to produce 17,000 local jobs during the construction phase [3], hence temporarily, around 17,000 indigenous people will be needed to be displaced, losing their current livelihood and culture forever [10].

Some tribes started to be divided over the issue, whether to accept adequate compensations, or whether to resist displacement [11].

Located on ancestral lands of indigenous communities, the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the feasibility studies was signed without knowledge of all indigenous community members, and the results of the feasibility study were not presented to the community. The proponents were further alleged of bribing indigenous leaders, offering services for their consent, which is contrary to the established free prior informed consent (FPIC) procedure [4]. Several groups, such as AGHAM (Advocates of Science and Technology for the People), conducted investigation missions to assess the project conditions and impacts. They found that the lives and livelihoods of indigenous people, which were not properly consulted in the FPIC process and project development, would be drastically affected following the dam construction of the project, as the Jalaur dam would require flooding and displacement of 18 indigenous villages [4;5]. Compensations offered for crop loss and displacement have not corresponded to the actual compensations received [4], or were completely absent [6]. Water, now freely used by the local inhabitants, would become a pricy commodity, controlled by corporate interests [7].

Moreover, the studies emphasized the lack of assessments of how the dam would respond to natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods, particularly as being located on “an area with a series of faults and fractures” [4;7]. The potential breaking of the dam, feared due to its geological unstable location, would cause a massive flooding of the downstream cities Passi and Iloilo [1]. Several strong earthquakes, up to magnitudes of 9 and 8 were registered in the past in the region, known to be prone to earthquakes and landslides [7]. Moreover, large parts of bio-diverse habitats, currently covered by forests and home to several endangered species, would be flooded [5]. The upstream reservoir would convert a unique ecosystem, home to indigenous communities, into a large artificial lake and potential breeding spot for diseases [1], as well as into a significant source of greenhouse gases [8]. In summary, the dam would threaten people, wildlife and increasing the risk of environmental disasters [4;5].

There is large cross-sectoral opposition to the dam, involving several different protest actions. Activists stormed the local Exim Bank office, demanding withdrawal from the controversy project [8]. A petition for Writ of Kalikasan (comparable to an environmental protection order) was submitted by a former congressman; however it was rejected [12]. The congressman further was reported to have funded a rally against the dam [9]. Several advocate groups, such as AGHAM and Kalikasan PNE reiterated their calls to stop the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Phase II (JRMPP) due to social and geological issues, calling for a full investigation of the potential impacts of the dam [4;5]. A large coalition of local groups presented alternative reports on the impacts [10], as, in their words: “We need to defend and protect our waters, our environment where our lives anchored on it [..]. This environmentally disastrous and monstrous project must be stop!” [7].

Construction start was report to be scheduled to November, 2015 [2].

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project (JRMPP) Phase II Dam, Iloilo, Philippines
Country:Philippines
State or province:Iloilo
Location of conflict:Calinog Municipality
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Water access rights and entitlements
Land acquisition conflicts
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Water

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Project investment of 11.212 Billion Philippine Pesos (around 250 million USD) [4].

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the involved parties was signed on December 20, 2011 [3].

The reservoir would hold around 197 million cubic meters of waters, with a dam up to 102 meters [12].

Ssmall planned electricity production capacity of only 6.6 MW [1;12].

The dam was initially planned to serve all-year long irrigation of 32,000ha of agricultural land, and to supply water to households and businesses [7]. However, 22,340 hectares of the 32,000ha are already irrigated by existing irrigation systems; hence the real added irrigation area would be only 9,500ha [10].

While the government claims to produce 17,000 local jobs during the construction phase [3], hence temporarily, around 17,000 indigenous people will be needed to be displaced, losing their current livelihood and culture forever [10].

Project area:unknown
Level of Investment:250,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:17,000 displaced
Start of the conflict:20/12/2011
Company names or state enterprises:Newington Builders, Inc. from Philippines - construction
Relevant government actors:Government of the Philippines; Senator Franklin Drilon; National Irrigation Authority (NIA); National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP); National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)
International and Finance InstitutionsGovernment of the Philippines from Philippines
Government of the Republic of Korea from Republic of Korea
Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) (KEXIM) from Republic of Korea
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Paghugpong sang mga Mangunguma sa Panay kag Guimaras (PAMANGGAS); Tumandok nga Mangunguma nga Nagapangapin sa Duta kag Kabuhi (TUMANDUK) Inc.; Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) – Panay; Dagsaw Panay-Guimaras Indigenous Peoples’ Network (PGIPNET); Promotion of Church Peoples’ Response (PCPR) – Panay; Bayan Muna – Panay; Jalaur River for the People Movement (JRPM); Oikos Ecological Movement; Scientist group Advocates of Science and Technology for the People (Agham); The Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE); Jubilee South -Asia Pacific Movement on Debt & Development; Freedom from Debt Coalition, and others

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Religious groups
Farmers
Local ejos
Fisher people
Local government/political parties
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local scientists/professionals
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Women
Pastoralists
Indigenous Tumandoks, indigenous Panay Bukidnon
Forms of mobilization:Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Development of a network/collective action
Public campaigns
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Blockades
Refusal of compensation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Objections to the EIA
Street protest/marches
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Development of alternative proposals
Official complaint letters and petitions

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Malnutrition, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Infectious diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Increase in violence and crime, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Loss of landscape/sense of place

Outcome

Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Corruption
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Migration/displacement
Repression
Strengthening of participation
Development of alternatives:As published by a coalition of local groups opposing the project [10].
"To summarize, we oppose the JRMPII because:
It poses great danger to the lives and livelihood of affected communities upstream and downstream of the project.
It violates the indigenous people’s right to give or deny consent to projects in their ancestral domain and dislocates a big number of indigenous families .
The tremendously large amount of public capital investment does not justify the avowed benefits and is fraught with risks.
It plans to privatize water, a very important common resource which is part of our national patrimony.
The Php11.2billion investment in the JRMPII will be better used to:
Build small dams and rehabilitate existing irrigation systems which are less risky.
Provide assistance of farm inputs, equipment and credit facilities to farmers.
Rehabilitation and improvement of flood control measures in flood prone areas.
We support the Bayan Muna House Resolution No. 323 titled RESOLUTION FOR THE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES TO CONDUCT AN ONSITE INVESTIGATION, IN AID OF LEGISLATION, ON THE VIABILITY AND DISASTER VULNERABILITIES OF THE JALAUR RIVER MULTIPURPOSE PROJECT STAGE II (JRMP), TO BE SITUATED ON TOP OF THE WEST PANAY FAULT WHICH IS AN ACTIVE FAULT AND THUS THREATENS THE LIVES AND LIVELIHOOD OF THE PEOPLE AND OTHER AFFECTED COMMUNITIES IN THE EVENT OF A MAJOR DISASTER, filed on September 24, 2012."
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:It seems that the project will go on.

Sources & Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997 (IPRA)
http://www.gov.ph/1997/10/29/republic-act-no-8371/

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 2651 - AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE JALAUR MULTI-PURPOSE PROJECT IN THE PROVINCE OF ILOILO AND GOVERNING ITS OPERATION AFTER ITS COMPLETION
http://www.chanrobles.com/republicacts/republicactno2651.html#.VWSYylLEMb4

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] The Philippine Star online (02/11/2013): "Killer dam" (accessed 26/05/2015)
http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2013/11/02/1252071/killer-dam

[3] Senate of the Philippines Press Release (04/01/2012): "Drilon: Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project II to create 17,000 jobs in Iloilo" (accessed 26/05/2015)
http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2012/0104_drilon1.asp

[4] AGHAM online (5/08/2014): "Group reiterates call to halt Jalaur Dam Project implementation" (accessed 26/05/2015)
http://www.agham.org/cms/content/group-reiterates-call-halt-jalaur-dam-project-implementation

[11] The Manila Bulletin online (12/02/2015): "Gov’t intervenes for mega dam project-affected communities" (accessed 26/05/2015)
http://newscentral.exsees.com/item/c933348536dd543a948d036c7c1db6ed-5ece43f32df5cd706e7c067a9abb11ff

[2] InterAksyon online (22/05/2015): "Construction of P11.2-B dam project in Iloilo to start in November: Drilon" (accessed 26/05/2015)
http://www.interaksyon.com/article/110924/construction-of-p11-2-b-dam-project-in-iloilo-to-start-in-november-drilon

[6] International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines News Release (01/04/2014): "Jalaur River for the People Movement questions irrigation canal construction" (accessed 26/05/2015)
http://humanrightsphilippines.net/pipermail/philconcerns_humanrightsphilippines.net/2014-April/000553.html

[7] Jalaur River for the People Movement Statement on the Celebration of Earth Day (27.04.2015) (accessed 26/05/2015)
http://www.khis.or.kr/spaceBBS/bbs.asp?act=read&bbs=en_board&no=133&ncount=131&s_text=&s_title=&pageno=1&basic_url=

[8] Asia Pacific Movement on Debt & Development: "Protesters call on Koreans to stop funding dangerous, climate-damaging Jalaur dam" (accessed 26/05/2015)
http://apmdd.org/reclaim-power-2014/69-news/276-protesters-call-on-koreans-to-stop-funding-dangerous-climate-damaging-jalaur-dam

[9] Panay News online (16/02/2015): "Syjuco funding anti-dam protests – Calinog mayor" (accessed 26/05/2015)
http://panaynewsphilippines.com/2015/02/16/syjuco-funding-anti-dam-protests-calinog-mayor/

[10] Position Paper Against the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project II (accessed 26/05/2015)
https://jeyaye.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/position-paper-against-the-jalaur-river-multipurpose-project-ii/

[12] Briefing Paper on the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project Phase 2 (JRMPII); Released by the Jalaur River for the People Movement (JRPM); November 2012 (accessed 26/05/2015)
https://jeyaye.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/the-jalaur-mega-dam-and-the-lives-of-the-people/

[13] Journal Online (01/12/2014): "Court junks request of TEPO for Jalaur mega dam" (accessed 26/05/2015)
http://www.journal.com.ph/news/provincial/court-junks-request-of-tepo-for-jalaur-mega-dam

[5] Kalikasan PNE Press Release (10/07/2015): "Kalikasan PNE: DAP-funded Jalaur Mega Dam project is environmentally destructive, hazardous" (accessed 26/05/2015)
http://www.kalikasan.net/press-release/2014/07/10/kalikasan-pne-dap-funded-jalaur-mega-dam-project-environmentally

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Facebook page against the dam
https://www.facebook.com/pages/No-to-Jalaur-Mega-Dam-Project/338778972923935

Short video on the impacts of the dam
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRN599Hl4tA

Other documents

Protesters call on Korea to stop funding the dam Source: http://apmdd.org/reclaim-power-2014/69-news/276-protesters-call-on-koreans-to-stop-funding-dangerous-climate-damaging-jalaur-dam
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/10264016_827033667328062_501611683373277003_o.jpg

Protests Source: http://www.khis.or.kr/spaceBBS/bbs.asp?act=read&bbs=en_board&no=133&ncount=131&s_text=&s_title=&pageno=1&basic_url=
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/photo_2015-04-22_15-19-34.jpg

Jalaur River Source: https://jeyaye.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/the-jalaur-mega-dam-and-the-lives-of-the-people/
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/12__p8310428.jpg

Dam as planned Source: http://www.kalikasan.net/press-release/2014/07/10/kalikasan-pne-dap-funded-jalaur-mega-dam-project-environmentally
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/b______jalaur-dam.jpg

Loss of indigenous culture Source: https://www.facebook.com/pages/No-to-Jalaur-Mega-Dam-Project/338778972923935
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/fb_885542_572873009514529_6379771297186603774_o.jpg

Meta information

Contributor:A. Scheidel (ICTA-UAB) / arnim "dot" scheidel "at" gmail "dot" com
Last update28/05/2015

Images

 

Dam as planned

Source: http://www.kalikasan.net/press-release/2014/07/10/kalikasan-pne-dap-funded-jalaur-mega-dam-project-environmentally

Loss of indigenous culture

Source: https://www.facebook.com/pages/No-to-Jalaur-Mega-Dam-Project/338778972923935

Protesters call on Koireans to stop funding the dam

Source: http://apmdd.org/reclaim-power-2014/69-news/276-protesters-call-on-koreans-to-stop-funding-dangerous-climate-damaging-jalaur-dam

Protests

Source: http://www.khis.or.kr/spaceBBS/bbs.asp?act=read&bbs=en_board&no=133&ncount=131&s_text=&s_title=&pageno=1&basic_url=

Jalaur River

Source: https://jeyaye.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/the-jalaur-mega-dam-and-the-lives-of-the-people/