The RDC2 Full Council Virtual Meeting with Advisory Committee on 18 September 2020 concluded with a favorable note as the RDC Chair and Governor of Isabela Hon. Rodolfo T. Albano III took on the lead to support the TWG recommendations in resolving the issues regarding the implementation of the Casecnan Multipurpose Irrigation and Power Project (CMIPP) given that the Build-Operate-Transfer contract will expire in December 2021.
The documentation of issues on the implementation of the CMIPP was conducted in response to the request of Nueva Vizcaya Governor Carlos M. Padilla to the RDC secretariat to create a TWG to evaluate the implementation of the CMIPP relative to the original implementation agreement.
The CE Casecnan Water and Energy Company, Inc. entered into a contract with the Government of the Philippines (GOP) through the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) for the construction and development of the USD 580 million Casecnan Multi-Purpose Irrigation and Power Project (CMIPP) in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija and Alfonso Castaneda, Nueva Vizcaya. This project was established to increase agricultural productivity resulting from the diversion of waters from Casecnan river to support the farmers in the central Luzon.
Based on the TWG’s key informant interviews and document reviews, several concerns were observed to include the non-payment of percentage share of the Bugkalot tribe from the gross income derived from the project’s power generation; violation on the 10 percent environmental release from the dam weirs; non-payment of real property tax; and the drying up of Casecnan and Taan Rivers in Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya province.
With the expiration of contract in 2021, the TWG recommends the conduct of a post-project evaluation on the economic and social impact of the CMIPP after 20 years. This will help the stakeholders and decision makers make informed decisions and identify appropriate strategies or programs that are best suited to the needs of the community and beneficiaries over a short or long period of time.
Another important recommendation is the conduct of a study for possible funding by NIA, to determine the impact of the dam project on the population of ludong and other migratory fish species along the Casecnan and Taan rivers. Meanwhile, it is further recommended that the CE Casecnan in collaboration with BFAR shall undertake alternative interventions to address the extinction of ludong and eel, and if possible, to allocate fund to restore the productivity of the said species and all other species affected by the project like stock enhancement.
Also, the TWG emphasized on the importance of an Inter-Regional Management Council that will serve as an advisory body to ensure the efficient management and utilization of the Casecnan facilities and the watersheds especially after its turn-over by December, 2021 asthe project area straddles in two provinces and regions, i.e. Alfonso Castaneda, Nueva Vizcaya and Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija.
The TWG is chaired by Engr. Edgardo D.Sabado, the PPDC of PG Nueva Vizcaya, with the following members: NEDA2, NIA2, NIA3-Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System (UPRIIS), DA2, DENR2, NCIP2, EMB2, PG of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino, MLGUs of Alfonso Castaneda, Dupax Del Sur and Nagtipunan, PAMB Casecnan and Chieftain Rosario Camma of the Bugkalot Confederation. The NEDA2 also acts as the secretariat of the TWG. #NEDA2-DRD