Anti-dam Movement Strategies in the Philippines

Anti-dam Movement Strategies in the Philippines

Editor’s note: We wrote this article to give you a historical and current background of how people of the Philippines work relentlessly against dam constructions. It is a summary of the book Mapping Anti-Dam Movements: The Politics of Water Reservoir Construction and Hydropower Development Projects in the Philippines by Fernan Talamayan of the National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University.

The Filipinos, of which some of them are DGR allies, bravely try to protect water and land, even though the military persecutes and sometimes kills them for doing this.

A few years ago two DGR members went to the Philippines to exchange training and struggle methods. Since then the connection has developped into an ongoing solidarity, where we are able through donations by readers like you to support the allies’ activism and work together in grassroot projects. DGR Asia Pacific Facebook page:

By Mary Ann Jasper and Benja Weller

The people of the Philippines Archipelago are known as one of the world’s “most vibrant and advanced” multicultural society. They know how to organize in different affinity groups such as youth groups, workers alliances, and indigenous women’s groups, and how to build a culture of community and resistance to engage in important issues that the government fails to address.

There’s been more research done on the anti-mining movement in the Philippines, and less research on the anti-dam movement. But dam building is as relevant, and impacts as many local people, as mining projects do. National organisations such as the Haribon Foundation, Infrawatch PH and the Philippine Movement for Climate Change are also involved in helping the anti-dam movement. 

Development means less indigenous land

Most regions affected by dam building are indigenous ancestral lands around the Manila metro area, because the country’s capital suffers chronic water shortages.

The indigenous peoples in the Philippines are the most marginalized people regarding health care, education, and income. This dates back to the late 19th century where the Spanish colonialists, on the basis of a new law, took away the land of indigenous peoples.

The existing Philippine law should protect indigenous peoples with it’s “Freedom, Prior and Informed Consent” policy and “The indigenous peoples rights act of 1997”. Instead research of Fernan Talamayan shows that these rights are being violated across the country. The Philippine government supports hydro power dam projects under the declaration of “development” and “clean energy” in order to purportedly create more jobs and solve the energy crisis.

“Red-tagging” as a method to silence people

In announcing the construction of the New Centennial Water Source Kaliwa Dam 2019, President Duterte pointed out that his government will push infrastructure projects at the cost of indigenous and environmental concerns:

“Let me be very clear to the citizens. You have every right to protest [infrastructure development] if it places your life in jeopardy, but if the safeguards are there between your concerns and the crisis that you’re trying to avoid, I will use the extraordinary powers of presidency.”

In other words, he sees no alternative for the water crisis other than dam building, whereas the indigenous peoples aim for restoring the true source of fresh water: healthy forests and watersheds.

The government uses a method called “red-tagging”, where it willfully accuses the most influential members in the anti-dam movement of being supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA), an armed wing of the Philippine Communist Party. That gives the military a mandate to surveille, harass and even kill these innocent local people.

These extrajudicial killings and other forms of state violence can weaken or strengthen anti-dam movements. While they can intensify the popular call for justice, they are also used to directly intimidate indigenous communities and force them to sell their lands to the government.

Stopping the Laiban dam

The Philippine state, meanwhile, employs divide and conquer tactics to manipulate local people into voting for the dam building by using shady voting methods which can cause division between the community members.

But if the protests stay strong, then the government’s dam-building plans can be stopped, as we see in the case of the Laiban dam project: The pressure of mobilization of the opposition consisting of religious groups, farmers, local environmental justice organizations, fisherfolk, local scientists and professionals stopped the construction of this dam in 2019.

A Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) commented on the halt of the project, saying that “Laiban is out, insofar as this administration is concerned, because of the social engineering nightmare that we’ll encounter in resettling 4800 families”.

Nonetheless the success of the opposing groups was overshadowed by several extrajudicial killings of engaged activists and indigenous peoples who the Philippine military harrassed prior to their murders.

No livelihood nor income when resettling

The same story of state-sponsored violence continues in other anti-dam construction projects.
A local group called Peasant Movement to Free the Agno (TIMMAWA), against the construction of the San Roque Dam, which several national and international environmental justice organizations supported, had a leader called Jose Doton or Apo Jose. He received death threats and was surveilled and “red-tagged” by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as a “communist sympathizer and a terrorist” before he was killed on May 16th 2006 near his home in San Nicholas, Pangasinan in northern Luzon.

Even when such extreme methods aren’t being used, indigenous peoples are paid to leave their ancestral land – but these resettlements under the Philippine law to other locations don’t turn out as successful as promised by the government.

One member of the Ibaloi people, who had to leave their land to make way for the San Roque Multipurpose Project, says in an Interview by Imhof:

“Before we moved, we were far better off. We had smaller houses but we had sources of livelihood. We could eat, grow vegetables, do gold panning. Here we need money to survive, but we have no source of income.”

The consequences of the Kaliwa Dam in 2019, where indigenous peoples lost their sacred burial sites and fishing and hunting grounds, led to the destruction of their culture and source of livelihoods in such a way that future generations may not be able to survive.

Communities mobilize against San Roque dam

The dam in the Pangasinan Province in northern Luzon stopped the natural overflow by the Agno River which was a traditional method used by farmers of San Nicolas to irrigate their fields. When the region is struck by strong typhoons, as happens frequently in the Philippines, the dam needs to release excess water which causes major flooding. In 2009 the release of excess water killed 57 people and destroyed crops and infrastructure worth billions of dollars.

It is no surprise therefore that local communities accompanied the building of the San Roque dam on the same river by huge protests: They filed lawsuits, engaged in judicial activism and media-based activism, sent letters and petitions to government officials, and mobilized public campaigns and street protests.

Philippine’s wildlife needs rivers

The survival of endemic wildlife is also in danger, as the planners want to build the dam within the National Wildlife Sanctuary (NPWS) and would directly impact 96 endemic species. Among those are the endangered Raflessia Manillana corpse flower, the Philippine mahogany and the endangered Philippine eagle. When dams are being constructed, entire ecosystems of rivers collapse and rainforests are destroyed, causing the loss of countless individual animals and species.

Despite all the threats and repression that local people have to endure, their opposition against dam building stays strong. When the solution of the government to energy crises in the Philippines is “development”, environmentalists and indigenous peoples ask, “development for whom?” and do everything in their power to keep protecting the livelihoods and rich ecosystems all of the Philippines depends upon.

The population in the Philippines is among the fastest growing in the world and consequently the Philippine government faces an enormous challenge as to whether it can provide for its human population without obliterating the environment that provides the basis of life.

Here you can find the above mentioned book, it’s worthwhile to read:

Mapping Anti-Dam Movements: The Politics of Water Reservoir Construction and Hydropower Development Projects in the Philippines by Fernan Talamayan

Photo by DGR Philippines, organizing against a hydro-power storage dam

A Planned $1.1 Billion Hydroelectric Dam is Threatening the Largest Lake  in the Philippines, and Community Activists are Being Persecuted for Fighting Back

A Planned $1.1 Billion Hydroelectric Dam is Threatening the Largest Lake in the Philippines, and Community Activists are Being Persecuted for Fighting Back

Editor’s note: Activists and environmentalists in the Philippines take extreme risks by speaking out to protect land and water. The Philippines has consistently been ranked as the most dangerous country in the world for environmental defenders. This story includes reference to 68-year-old environmental defender Daisy Macapanpan, who was arrested on what appear to be trumped-up charges for resisting the Ahunan pumped hydroelectric dam. This repression is merely the beginning.

Deep Green Resistance has collaborated with grassroots activists in the Philippines for many years. Some of our allies are involved in this fight, and are raising funds to print educational materials, hold events, and support community activism against the Ahunan hydro project by providing expertise, assisting in connections with lawyers, help getting international media coverage, and more. You can donate to these community organizers via PayPal to this email address. This story has not previously been reported in the international press.

MANILA — Casino billionaire Enrique Razon, one of the richest men in the Philippines, is planning a $1.1 billion hydropower dam which threatens Laguna De Bay, the largest lake in the nation and one of the largest in Southeast Asia, as well as the community of Pakil and rainforests on the flanks of the Sierra Madre mountains on the lake’s east bank.

Prime Infrastructure Capital corporation’s Ahunan Pumped-Storage Hydropower Project would destroy nearly 300 hectares of rainforest, leach toxic chemicals into Laguna De Bay, and could jeopardize the water supply for more than 20,000 residents of the area. 

Local residents fear that the project could worsen typhoon flooding and lead to landslides, will destroy natural pools that are used in religious practices, and that the region’s frequent earthquakes could damage the dam and reservoir — which is planned to be built on Mt. Inumpong which rises above their community and that is riven by three major fault lines — leading to catastrophic failure.

Despite widespread community opposition, the project is set to break ground in 2023. Community organizers allege that illegal drilling is already taking place and that the Philippe army is guarding the site. 

On June 11th, 68-year-old environmental defender Daisy Macapanpan, one of the leaders of the community opposition, was arrested in her home for “rebellion” after delivering a speech against the project. allegedly by 40 police officers with no warrant. She was released on August 10th on bail. Illegal detentions and arrests of environmentalists are common in the Philippines, which has also been ranked as the deadliest country for environmental defenders.

On August 8th, following extensive pressure from the communities and allegations of illegal conduct, the Municipal Councils and Chieftains of four directly impacted communities revoked a previous “no objection” resolution in favor of the project that had been in place since September 2021.

On August 23rd, the Department of Energy and Natural Resources Environmental Management Bureau and the community of Pakil dispatched representatives to investigate allegations on ongoing illegal construction. 

ahunan hydroelectric resistance

Community organizers gathered in Pakil in August 2022 to resist the Ahunan hydroelectric dam project.

Pumped-storage hydropower is unlike regular hydropower dams, which block a river’s flow to produce electricity. Instead, pumped hydro storage (PHS) is an energy storage method. It depends on finding (or engineering) a site where two sizable reservoirs or natural water bodies at significantly different elevations can be connected by pipes. To store energy, operators pump water from the lower to the upper reservoir, and to use the stored energy, let it run back down through electrical power generation turbines. 

According to the book Bright Green Lies: How the Environmental Movement Lost Its Way and What we Can Do About It, pumped-storage hydropower dams kill fish, distribute invasive species, destroy riparian vegetation and harm wetlands, decrease water quality, block aquatic migration, and contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. The book also states that “these facilities lead to more fossil fuels being burnt” because of inefficiencies in the process. 

The Ahunan Pumped-Storage Hydropower Project would produce 1,400 MW of electricity at full flow, none of which would go to the local community. Prime Infrastructure Capital corporation and the Philippines Department of Energy call the project “clean energy.”

The fish who live in Laguna De Bay are an important source of food for the 8.4 million people living in the surrounding communities. A petition to halt the project has been signed by more than 6,000 of the 15,000 voting-age residents closest to the proposed project. 

The World Commission on Dams estimates that at least 40 million to 80 million people have been displaced by dams.

Featured image by Ramon FVelasquez. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Indigenous Leaders Killed In Philippines Over Dam Opposition

Indigenous Leaders Killed In Philippines Over Dam Opposition

Editor’s note: In this article, written by Jun N. Aguirre and published in Mongabay on February 8th, 2021, he describes how nine environmental activists were killed by the authorities due to their opposition regarding the construction of dams.

Featured image: Project description from the government homepage. Image courtesy of the National Irrigation Administration JRMP Project Stage II

By Jun N. Aguirre/Mongabay

  • The killing of nine Indigenous leaders by police during an operation in the central Philippines on Dec. 30, 2020, has drawn widespread condemnation from environmental and human rights groups, politicians, lawyers, and Catholic bishops.
  • Police allege that those killed, and another 16 arrested, were supporters of the NPA, the armed wing of the banned communist party.
  • But supporters of the Indigenous Tumandok community on Panay Island say they were targeted for their opposition to two dam projects in their ancestral domain.
  • One of the projects, on the Jalaur River, is largely funded through a $208 million loan from the South Korean government.

AKLAN, Philippines — At dawn on Dec. 30, 2020, police officers raided Indigenous villages within a military reservation camp in the central Philippines in search of alleged members of the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the banned communist party.

During the raid, authorities killed nine leaders and arrested 16 members of the Tumandok ethnic group. The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), who led the synchronized raids on the island of Panay, said the members were rebel sympathizers.

Human rights and environmental groups have linked the raids to two major dam projects in the area: one on the Jalaur River and the other on the Panay River. Lawmakers and local groups say the targets of the raid, especially those who were killed, had been opposed to the ongoing construction of the controversial Jalaur dam in the nearby municipality of Calinog. Indigenous groups there have long complained that the project is destroying their ancestral domain.

Conflicting narratives

The PNP’s internal affairs division has opened an investigation into the raids, but insists those killed and arrested were NPA supporters. Roger James Brillantes, a police colonel who heads the internal affairs office for the Western Visayas region, said at a press conference that the operation was part of a government campaign against rebels.

“The PNP did the raid because it is armed with warrant of arrests,” he said. “There is an ongoing investigation if the operatives have conducted lapses in its operation.”

Police allege some of the Indigenous leaders fired at officers during the raids, prompting a return of fire in which the Indigenous men were killed. Police reportedly seized some firearms from the operation. But those arrested deny there was any resistance on their part, saying the police raided their homes at about 4 a.m., when they were asleep. The Indigenous groups say the firearms and explosives the government says it seized were planted.

The Jalaur project is the first large-scale dam to be constructed in the Philippines’ central and southern Visayas and Mindanao regions. Eighty percent of the project cost, nearly $208 million, comes from a loan from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (KEDF) of South Korea, issued through the Export-Import Bank of Korea in 2012. In 2018, the Philippines’ National Irrigation Administration signed a 11.2 billion peso ($224 million) contract with South Korea’s Daewoo Engineering and Construction for the second stage of the Jalaur project.

The project is expected to provide year-round irrigation, bulk water supply, hydroelectric power, and ecotourism opportunities for the communities on Panay Island.

The fact that those most opposed to the project were killed in a purported operation against communist sympathizers is no coincidence, groups say. On Dec. 11, the nine Indigenous leaders killed were part of a Human Rights Day rally, in which they protested against the dam projects. They were accused of being rebels that same day — a practice known as “red-tagging” that is often used to justify a subsequent crackdown by the police or military.

“Their strong resistance against the development projects have made its members become subject of red-tagging by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), and harassment through intensified military presence in their communities,”

the Panay chapter of the Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI), a network of NGOs and advocacy groups, said in a statement.

An ‘excuse’ to kill

The deadly raid on Dec. 30 has also sparked political fallout. On Jan. 4, members of Congress filed a joint declaration calling for a deeper probe into the incident.

“This mass killings and arrests of indigenous peoples in Panay, in the middle of a pandemic no less, is highly condemnable, and has no place in society,” six representatives from four parties wrote in their declaration. “The brazen killing of the poor and marginalized indigenous peoples is an indicator of the state of human rights in the country as well as the raging impunity that seems to reign over our land.”

The Panay chapter of the National Union of Lawyers of the Philippines (NULP) also condemned the killings, calling them “identical to the killings of farmers in Negros Oriental on March 30, 2019.” In that incident, 14 people were killed in synchronized police raids in three municipalities in Negros Oriental province. Police similarly accused those killed of being armed NPA sympathizers and firing on officers.

“It appears that the service of these warrants was nothing more than an excuse to carry out an operation intended to kill and arrest local leaders of Tumanduk communities that have been actively advocating for the rights and interests of farmers and indigenous peoples,” NUPL-Panay said in a statement.

The clergy in this staunchly Catholic country has also raised concerns over the killings.

In a joint statement, eight bishops representing dioceses in the Western Visayas region issued a demand for the government to thoroughly investigate the raid. They also called on the government to listen to the “legitimate cries of the Tumandoks over the Jalaur mega dam issue”; end the militarization of Indigenous communities in the area; compel the PNP and the military to follow ethical standards in the rules of engagement; and require police officers to use body cameras to protect parties against false accusations.

The government, through its Western Visayas Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC), has responded by calling the bishops misinformed on the issue. Flosemer Chris Gonzales, a lawyer for the task force, said the clergymen may have been deceived by the propaganda from the NPA.

“We caution the bishops from making hasty, false, and presumptuous conclusions,” he said. “We would like to think that you have all been misinformed. As Catholics, we adhere to the teachings of the Church but that does not equally mean that our bishops are not prone to errors in judgment. The individuals who were arrested were subjects of legitimately issued search warrants. You cannot conclude that atrocities were committed. That is simply irresponsible.”

This article was originally published on Mongabay , you can access here.

No Safe Space For Philippines’ Indigenous Youth As Military Allowed On Campus

No Safe Space For Philippines’ Indigenous Youth As Military Allowed On Campus

DGR stands in solidarity with indigenous peoples worldwide. They are often decisive defenders of the landbase that is their home and also the most vulnerable people, facing endless attacks, harassment and genocide by the culture of empire. 

This is an excerpt from an article originally published on Mongabay.

  • The Philippines’ Department of National Defense has unilaterally terminated an accord that ensured the 17 campuses of the University of the Philippines were off-limits to the military and police.
  • The defense secretary justified the move by alleging that insurgents from the banned communist party and its armed wing are using the campuses’ sanctuary status as cover for their recruitment and propaganda purposes.
  • The decision has alarmed displaced Indigenous students who are harboring at UP’s Quezon City campus after the military bombed or took over their schools in a counter-insurgency campaign that began in 2018.
  • Critics say the move is the latest blow to human rights and environmental activists in the Philippines, following the recent enactment of an anti-terrorism law seen as giving the armed forces free rein to perpetuate abuses in a country already rated as the most dangerous in Asia for environmental and land defenders.

MANILA — Indigenous youths harboring from a military-led counterinsurgency in the Philippines may soon lose the only safe space they have known for the past two years.

Under a nearly 40-year pact, the 17 campuses of the University of the Philippines are off-limits to the country’s military and police. Since 2019, a group of 68 Indigenous students and teachers have taken refuge at the UP campus in Quezon City, where they attend a makeshift school following the forcible closure of more than 160 schools catering to Indigenous communities, or lumad, in the southern island of Mindanao.

But in a letter dated Jan. 15 this year to the UP president, National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana unilaterally declared an end to the pact, effectively stripping the sanctuary status of the campuses of the country’s leading public university.

Lorenzana cited “recent events” that identified UP students as members of the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (CPP/NPA), and said that “national security issues” and the safety of students against rebel recruiters are the main driving forces for the termination of what’s known as the UP-DND accord or the Enrile-Soto accord.

“The Department is aware that there is indeed an ongoing clandestine recruitment inside UP campuses nationwide for membership in the CPP/NPA and that the ‘Agreement’ is being used by the CPP/NPA recruiters and supporters as shield or propaganda so that government law enforcers are barred from conducting operations against the CPP/NPA,” the letter, addressed to UP President Danilo Concepcion, says.

The Department of National Defense (DND) says it will not “station military or police” on campuses and will not “suppress activist groups, academic freedom and freedom of expression.” The DND has nothing to gain from suppressing these activities, Lorenzana wrote: “We want them [the youth] to see their Armed Forces and Police as protectors worthy of trust, not fear.”

But despite the secretary’s reassurances, the news has triggered alarms for Indigenous students, who could now be targeted in military raids. The development threatens a repeat of the military attacks on Indigenous schools that occurred after President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao in 2017, says Ruis Valle of the Save Our Schools Network (SOSN).

In 2018, the military conducted a series of campaigns and operations to crack down on lumad schools in Talaingod, in Mindanao’s Davao del Norte province, after Duterte threatened in 2017 to bomb the schools.

He had accused the CPP/NPA of using the schools as training grounds.

Since then, more than 160 schools catering to Mindanao’s Indigenous inhabitants have been bombed or transformed into military detachments, and completely shut.

The group of Indigenous students and teachers who sought sanctuary at UP’s Quezon City campus have consistently called for the reopening of Indigenous schools forced to close by the government, the SOSN says. It adds the now-scrapped UP-DND accord “served as a protective barrier for lumad children from direct military and police harassment.”

Human rights and environmental groups have also expressed concern at the DND’s latest move, calling the accord’s termination an attack on UP “as a democratic space.”

Since 2012, the university has “opened its doors to the lakbayan and kampuhan of indigenous people, national minorities, and farmers protesting mining plunder, land grabs, and other attacks against their ancestral lands,” the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, an NGO, said in a statement to Mongabay.

The university has also been “one of the few safe spaces” for environmental and human rights defenders to mobilize amid the government’s militaristic approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. Duterte signed a controversial anti-terrorism law during the lockdown, which critics say worsens an already fragile climate for environmental defenders and Indigenous groups in the Philippines. Eco-watchdog Global Witness rates the country the most dangerous for environmental and land defenders in Asia.

“The University of the Philippines is one of the pillars of academic freedom and critical thinking in the country,” Kalikasan said. “It is because of this freedom and critical thinking that the University can produce great minds that have excelled in different fields, including environmental protection and defense.”

Featured Image: The University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila.

Image by Ramon FVelasquez via Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Philippines: Northern Negros National Park Threatened

Philippines: Northern Negros National Park Threatened

This article is based on communication from a comrade in the Negros province of the Philippines. There is ongoing destruction of the natural world in this area due to road construction, a planned airport, and clearing of the rainforest. The people on the front lines, being most affected, are calling for international solidarity and support.

On October the 18th this year, the first direct action regarding the Northern Negros National Park was taken by a group of concerned people. Food Not Bombs Bacolod Volunteers and concerned citizens have started a campaign to raise awareness about the ongoing destruction of the rainforest in the Negros area of the Philippines. The group has begun disseminating information to ensure other know about the ongoing harm being caused and to stand firmly IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE FOREST.

The group, focused their work in the city of Bacolod distributing printed placards, information flyers & leaflets and have been clear they are in direct opposition to any act of destruction. Food Not Bombs Bacolod condemns these injustices and the actions of the Local Government of Negros Island which sanctions the destruction of the  remaining rainforest of the island.

About Northern Negros National Park

A seasonally flooded caldera in Northern Negros National Park. Photo by Androkoy, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International.

The Northern Negros Natural Park is a protected area of the Philippines located in the northern mountainous forest region of the island of Negros in the Visayas. It is spread over five municipalities and six cities in the province of Negros Occidental and is the province’s largest watershed and water source for seventeen municipalities and cities including the Bacolod metropolitan area.

The park belongs to the Negros–Panay Biogeographic Region. It is one of two remaining lowland forests on Negros island, the other being in the Dumaguete watershed area in Mount Talinis on the southern end of the island in Negros Oriental.

The park is a habitat to important fauna including the Visayan spotted deer, Visayan warty pig, Philippine naked-backed fruit bat, and the endangered Negros shrew.

Number of endemic and threatened species of birds have been documented in the park, which includes the Visayan hornbill, Negros bleeding-heart, white-winged cuckooshrike, flame-templed babbler, white-throated jungle flycatcher, Visayan flowerpecker and green-faced parrotfinch.

Flora documented within the park include hardwood tree species (Dipterocarps), as well as palms, orchids, herbs and trees with medicinal value. Very rare is the local species of the cycas tree (locally called pitogo), probably a Cycas vespertilio, considered living fossil from the times of dinosaurs. Another prehistoric flora is present in the park like the tree ferns and the also protected Agathis philippinensis, (locally known as almaciga).

While We Were Distracted

As we know during 2020 most nations have been preoccupied trying to survive lockdown. During this time the local government of Negros Island, Protection And Management Board,  Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) failed in its responsibilities to protect the remaining watershed and rainforest. Road construction on the island started in the midst of Global Pandemic.

Instead the DENR legitimized the road construction on the Island and in doing so has increased the likelihood of communities on the island being destroyed in the medium to long term.  The DENR, along with the Department of Public Works and the Department of Highways have acted in a way that swept aside the needs of local communities, that ignored the rights of the natural world and in doing so have colluded to strengthen their power. In short they have become the mechanism and tool of destruction for the island.

The Aerotroplis Project

The plans to build a new International Airport in Manila has also hit the radar of environmental activists. The people and environmental groups in Bulakan and Bulacan have shared concerns about the devastation this will cause to the natural world, to wildlife (including fish) populations, bird populations, air pollution, and airplanes flying in the sky.  As always the focus is on economic benefits rather than the health of planet or people. There has been little or no analysis of the environmental impact.

Leon Dulce, national coordinator of Kalikasan-People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE), told the BusinessMirror that the presence of the bird populations are bioindicators of good ecological health. He stated “This is of crucial importance in these times when there are multiple epidemiological risks from pandemics, socioeconomic loss, and climate emergency all emerging from the disrupted environment. Massive land-reclamation activities in Manila Bay threatens the last remaining wetlands where migratory birds roost. The Bulacan Aerotropolis is one of the biggest threats that will destroy 2,500 hectares of mangroves and fisheries. It is outrageous that transportation mega infrastructure is being touted for economic recovery when global transportation is expected to remain disrupted until 2021.

Critical Mass Ride

Following the actions from Food Not Bombs Bacolad, on November 8th Local Autonomous Networks held a discussion to consider the ongoing problem. They agreed to organize a coordinated Critical Mass Ride. The ride involved concerned people in the Archipelago from the different islands of the Philippines gathering to travel around the main city to raise awareness.
Food Not Bombs and Local Autonomous Networks have issued a call to action to support them in opposing the road construction and the subsequent destruction of the Rainforest that will kill the livelihood of hundreds of families.

The call to action in the Archipelago is just a start. They have been clear they will not stop nor be silenced until the destruction planned has been stopped. They are calling for International Solidarity to all readers.

Join The Resistance. Join The Fight!

Save the Remaining Forest & Watershed of Northern Negros Natural Park, Stop the Patag-Silay-Calatrava-Cadiz Road Construction.  STOP the Bulacan Aerotropolis Project.