Excerpts are from MedNet’s study entitled 𝐏𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐒𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐨-𝐄𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐜 𝐄𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐏𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐢 𝐃𝐚𝐦 𝐕 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭.
“The proposed Pulangi V Hydro-Electric Power Plant (HEPP) is a power generation facility initiated by First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative (FIBECO) in Bukidnon. It will inundate 3,500 hectares of land, affecting 53 sitios in 22 barangays in four municipalities of Bukidnon and the municipality of President Roxas in Cotabato. FIBECO initially estimated that the size of the water reservoir would affect around 1,060 households living or taking their means of income and livelihood along the Pulangi River.
FIBECO's pre-development activities divided affected households, with some supporting and others opposing the project, consisting of settlers (locally called Dumagat) and indigenous communities of Manobo-Pulangihon.
The Diocese of Malaybalay called on Mediators Network for Sustainable Peace, Inc. (MedNet) to conduct a conflict study on the project. The conflict map, prepared in 2010, showed that the conflict revolves around competing rights and interests of primary stakeholders centered on land, its benefits, and cultural value.”
To address these issues, a joint Fact-Finding Committee (JFFC) was formed. MedNet was requested to facilitate the joint search for data. It was decided that a total household enumeration survey be conducted.
The first step in understanding the conflict is to ensure the data on hand is correct and complete. If there are conflicting data from different parties, joint data gathering can be conducted to address this.
Ma. Luisa Bautista is a development worker who specializes in advocacy campaigns and communications. She has experience in working on government and non-government settings, focused on the criminal law and child rights sector for almost 7 years. Currently, she is the Communications and Advocacy Officer of Mediators Network for Sustainable Peace.