The project planned to construct a hydroelectric power generating dam expected to produce 26 million KWH every year that would be erected in Balincaguing River in Mabini town. It also promised to irrigate 11,500-hectares of agricultural land in the said towns. It was endorsed by Congressman Jesus F. Celeste and Governor Amado Espino, Jr. but no public consultation to neither the directly affected residents of the 16 barangays in Mabini nor residents of town proper and nearby towns were held.
“The construction of Alabamas dam is another burden to farmers and indigenous people in Alaminos, Bani, Mabini and Sual towns. We firmly support the local farmers in opposing this project because it simply means massive displacement and wiping out of their livelihood,” cited by Joseph Canlas, Chairperson, AMGL.
“We should learn from the damaging effect of San Roque dam located in San Manuel and San Nicholas in northeastern part of Pangasinan since its construction in early 2000. Up to now, displaced farmers and indigenous people in the said towns were still suffering from poverty and hunger because they’ve lost their lands and livelihood. Also, San Roque dam has been blamed for the constant flooding since its operation has started. The Pangasinense believed that the flooding in 2009 to many towns in Pangasinan has caused by San Roque dam”, added by Canlas.
The groups said that the dam would waste P95 million of taxpayers’ money for its preparation stage and a total of P6 billion is proposed to fund its construction. It would be under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme, allowing private corporations to control it for 25 years. Local farmers said that it is part of the Aquino government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program.
“The project would adversely affect not just the indigenous people and farmers, but also residents of town centers. Its effects such as flash floods could even reach barangay Lucap in Alaminos, the site of the hundred islands, it could destroy transient houses and boats used by tourists,” said Canlas.
At present, the No to Alabamas Dam Movement is holding public consultations to educate more people in opposing the project. AMGL affirmed support of the local farmers’ campaign and would elevate the issue to the regional and national level.