By Minka Klaudia Tiangco
Opposition candidates from the “Otso Diretso” senatorial slate cast doubts on the government’s plan to construct the China-funded Kaliwa Dam in Quezon during a press conference on Wednesday.
The Kaliwa Dam will be tapped as an alternative water source for Metro Manila.
However, Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano said the dam project may just be one of China’s strategies to put the Philippines in a debt trap.
“Why would you put the construction of a critical infrastructure in the hands of somebody who will be our enemy? If that happens, our resources will be depleted,” he said in Filipino.
“Let us not forget that the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program is part of the bigger strategy for China to dominate the world,” he added.
Former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada also said an investigation should be conducted on why the government turned down Japan’s offer to build a “safer and cheaper” alternative to the Kaliwa Dam.
“We found out that Japan also offered to construct a dam. Why did the government refuse? We must know the reason behind that so we will know if we are already being cooked in our own oil or if the government is still fighting for the country’s interest,” he said in the vernacular.
Alejano said Japan’s proposed dam would be safer, and 50 percent cheaper than China’s proposal. It would also be 100-percent funded by Japan.
The Palace will review China’s proposal, but construction of the Kaliwa Dam might still push through, according to Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo.
Residents of the local community, however, opposed the construction of the dam, saying that it will lead to more floods around the area and displace many residents.