Church group opposes new dams in Sierra Madre


A church-based alliance on Satur¬day expressed its strong opposition to the planned construction of three new large dams in the mountains of Sierra Madre because of the danger they pose to communities and forests.

Fr. Pete Montallana of the Diocese of Infanta, Quezon province –one of the lead convenors of Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance, Inc. –said the project amounting to a staggering P66 billion will submerge 3,000 hectares of forests.

Montallana said the extreme heat, floods and storms that had lashed the country is an admonition that it’s no longer business as usual.

He lamented that the dam projects are being quietly pushed because of the El Niño scare.

But the priest is skeptical of the warning of an impending water crisis, noting that water from the Pasig River and Laguna Lake should be more than enough to cover the needs of Metro Manila.

“We are flooded with water from the Pasig River and Laguna Lake. Why can’t the government build water treatment plants following the example of Singapore? Why not desilt Angat Dam which is already 30 percent (silted),” he said.

Part of the government plan is to build an underground 28-kilometer tunnel from the Kaliwa Dam to Antipolo under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program.

Montallana’s group said the government should give priority to the interest of the people before profit. It said the Natural Resource Assessment and Accounting has not come out with a report on the dam project and its expected effect on communities and forests.

Montallana urged the people to stand up and defend the environment and oppose the mega-dam project that would not only damage nature but also displace thousands of people.


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  1. You are right Father Pete Montalba to oppose such construction of dams when government can not even optimize nor maximize the use of existing dams. These dams are heavily silted that they no longer hold enough water as it should be and these is true to all dams we have in the country from Luzon to Mindanao. These dams are even sources of tremendous corruption by businessmen in connivance with government officials in the Power entities. Dredging costs are hidden to the public, as they had been collecting dredging bills without any significant improvements or reliable measurements of dredged materials removed from these dams. As a matter of fact, a major player in the dredging business, Catalino Tan (Binga dam), was even officially recorded as major election contributor during Pres. GMA and such practices persists and continues until now.
    Lake Laguna is actually utilized by the public south water concessionaire but on a limited basis mas stringent red tapes is with the agency handling the lake. LLDA management is more interested to sell as their “sideline” waste water treatment machine on private establishments like fastfoods and restaurants which is faster to fill their personal pockets. Again, owning a company that distributes these machines and equipment is so identified with the incumbent GM since they can harass by “closure orders” who refused to buy their products. Father, please look deeper on these anomalies as bigger bribed money is involved in these “dams” that dammed our people in perpetuity.

    • hahaha! wa;lang ako makitang problema sa dam na itatayo, kung hindi sa mga ganid na tao, yan ang dapat linisin!yan ang mga problema sa bansa.

  2. While I agree with Fr. Montallana and his group’s reasons on their objection to the construction of a dam, the group or specifically the religious group in the country should also support population control.

    The country’s population is multiplying like rabbits as Pope Francis recently said after a recent visit. Why in the name of God the Catholic priests is objecting to the country’s population control is beyond me and other forward thinking people.

    Father Montallana – you cannot take your cake and eat it too! Help preserve the natural resources of our country through practical means. Control the rabbit-like population growth, then only then the we can live in an environmentally healthy space.

    • who told you that POPE FRANCIS SAID THAT FILIPINOS MUST BREED LIKE RABBITS? that is not true and not needed because the govt. has
      already implemented the use of artificial gadget to control the population
      despite the reduction of fertility rates of the Filipinos. other has already a problem in the decease of their population like JAPAN AND SINGAPORE