Excerpts are from MedNet’s study entitled 𝐏𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐒𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐨-𝐄𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐜 𝐄𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐏𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐢 𝐃𝐚𝐦 𝐕 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭.
“This study further substantiates the findings of the earlier conflict map on the existence of conflict, particularly on data, interests, relationship/trust, and structure.
First among these conflicts is data gaps, which refer to the lack of adequate and acceptable data and information that will allow people to make informed decision-making, aggravated by problematic communication between the project proponent and the local communities. The second source of conflict emphasized by this case refers to interests. It is clear that the interests of the affected communities are not yet given the importance that they deserve. The third source of conflict is structural in nature the resolution of which is largely in the hands of the proponent.
In sum, the study found the following:
1. People do not fully understand the project because of data gaps and inadequate information dissemination, thus, people are unaware of the implications of hosting the project.
2. The uncertainty of the trade offs of the project adds to the vulnerabilities and insecurities of the communities – a critical gap considering the very vulnerable situation of the people owing to their poverty and marginalization, lack of education, limited livelihood skills and options, and dependence on land, forest and water for their livelihoods and survival.
3. The credibility of the proponent is still in question.”
Based on the foregoing, it is important that the stakeholders undergo a conflict resolution or management process to address the issues/conflicts surrounding the proposed Pulangui V Hydro-Electric Power Plant project.
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.