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IP march vs. Kaliwa Dam project reaches NCR, to proceed to Malacañang

The days-long march of a group of indigenous people (IP) opposing the Kaliwa Dam project is set to reach Malacañang on Thursday afternoon, James Agustin reported on Unang Balita on Thursday.

Over 300 members of the IP group Dumagat-Remontados started marching from General Nakar in Quezon province on February 15 and crossed Laguna and Rizal in the succeeding days.

On Wednesday afternoon, the group arrived at the Ateneo de Manila University campus in Quezon City where they stayed overnight.

On Thursday morning, a Mass was held at the university before the group marched to the offices of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The IPs will also pass the University of Santo Tomas and Mendiola before reaching Malacañang at around 3 p.m. where they intend to hand President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. a letter expressing their detailed opposition to the Kaliwa Dam project.

The Unang Balita report said the marchers will be joined by different supporting groups.

The Dumagat-Remontados said there was lack of consultation with the communities that will be affected by the project.  They also said the dam construction will uproot IPs in the area.

The MWSS, for its part, earlier said proper consultations were conducted before the project started. It also said the construction of a tunnel in Teresa, Rizal and road improvement near the dam site will continue.

The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples had likewise said consultations were conducted with the IPs to get their free, prior and informed consent.

The project aims to augment Metro Manila's water requirements to avert a possible crisis. —Joviland Rita/KBK, GMA Integrated News