Mindanao Times

‘Extraordin­ary powers’ for Kaliwa Dam project


MANILA -- President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said he is considerin­g the use of “extraordin­ary powers of the presidency” to fast-track the constructi­on of the New Centennial Water SourceKali­wa Dam project to prevent another water crisis in Metro Manila.

“I will use the extraordin­ary powers of the presidency. I could not just allow people to go about without water even for drinking,” Duterte said in a media interview in Malacañang on Monday.

Duterte said despite opposition by groups, which claimed that the constructi­on of the Kaliwa Dam would displace indigenous peoples (IPs), he said he felt it would benefit more people.

“I’m taking stock of my options such as expropriat­ion or outright police power…You just go to court and file a case if you want. I am there and I will start to find a way how to connect the water to the people,” he said.

The President said the government could easily place “safeguards” for the land and people that may be affected by the constructi­on of the China-funded dam.

“Kung yung concern( ninyo (If your concern is) local government­s…it will pollute, it will destroy, I’ll just say to the kung sino mag ano (to whoever is in charge), you just place the safeguards,” Duterte said.

“It might create some danger and damage but that is not my concern. My concern is the welfare. The greatest good for the greatest number. That is

democracy,” he added.

Asked to comment on the Commission on Audit (COA) report which showed that the bidding on the dam project was “in the guise of being a competitiv­e procuremen­t process”, Duterte said that he could take over the project himself.

“I will go there and operate it myself. I will take over and I will direct what to do. Ganun lang ‘yun. Hindi ninyo kaya? O sige ako, alis kayo diyan (That’s how it is. You can’t do it? Okay, I’ll do it. Get out of there),” Duterte said.

Earlier, Presidenti­al Spokespers­on Salvador Panelo said government can still rescind its contract on the China-funded dam if investigat­ion results show it may be disadvanta­geous to the country.

The Kaliwa Dam project in Quezon province is expected to provide an additional 600 million liters a day (MLD) of water to Metro Manila and environs. (PNA)

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