KASIBU, Nueva Vizcaya: A multi–billion-peso worth large-scaled hydro-electric power dam project is being eyed for construction along the mountain border here and Quirino province.
The planned Diduyon Hydroelectric Power Project, amid the country’s increasing demand for power, would be undertaken by the Department of Energy (DOE) in collaboration with a multinational company reportedly owned by business tycoon Lucio Tan.
Kasibu Mayor Alberto Bu–molo Jr. said the survey for the project is ongoing as well as consultation with the affected villages.
The mountainous Kasibu is one of the three municipa-lities where the project would be constructed.
Reports said that the two other towns to be affected by the project are Quirino province’s towns of Maddela and Nagtipunan.
The planned Diduyon Hydroelectric Power Project with an 88-meter high Roller-Compacted Concrete (RCC) dam is a large-scaled Hydroelectric Power Project reportedly going to displace residents in Kasibu town here and in Quirino.
DOE officials said the dam could contribute at least 324 megawatts of power for the Luzon grid and would augment the irrigation requirement for thousands of hectares of farmlands in Quirino as well as parts of Isabela.
DOE officials said the planned Diduyon dam can be the solution to the reportedly “deteriorating” three-decade-old 380-megawatt Magat Dam hydro-electric and irrigation project along the borde of Ifugao and Isabela provinces.
However, militant and environment groups said that the construction of the Di–duyon dam would submerge at least eight villages in the three upland towns inhabited by indigenous peoples such as the Ifugao and Igorots and Bugkalots, also known as the Ilongots.
“It would be difficult for the project proponents to convince the affected villages knowing that they will be displaced by its construction,” said one of the KIRED leaders.
The National Council of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) is reportedly conducting series of consultation meetings with the affected families in efforts to obtain social license for the project.
KIRED officers stated: “We are opposed to the project and that we fear that the ongoing consultation might be railroaded in favor of the dam project.”
The NCIP is allegedly conducting the consultation processes which lack transparency.