The project site for the Kaliwa Dam Project remains inaccessible and remote. The area has no cellphone signal. Schools, health centers are far in between and if someone is seriously ill during the rainy months, residents have to walk, ride a motorcycle through rough terrain. But this scenario will see a turnaround as MWSS advances its planning for the resettlement site using a well-being-based approach. With community development as the ultimate goal, MWSS envisions the resettlement site as a model in governance, education, employment, training, health, and, ultimately, well-being.
Despite threats and opposition, MWSS continues to work silently, partnering with government and non-government agencies to shore up support to improve the locals standard of living, incomes and productivity, initially by providing employment and commerce.
During a project inspection on 8 January 2020 led by MWSS Chairman Reynaldo Velasco together with DPWH, and the LGU-General Nakar. Chairman Velasco explained the convergence of stakeholders to deliver the package of social services and benefits for the host LGU. He said, “relocation of the residents is unavoidable, but we at MWSS will ensure that Kaliwa Dam will become a platform for progress and that better conditions and benefits will accrue to the local communities”. Chairman Velasco detailed the collaboration with the Boy Scouts of the Philippines in the watershed management of Kaliwa; the provision of school buildings for 3 contingent sitios in collaboration with the Department of Education; farm-to-market bridge to be constructed by DPWH as a second phase of the access road construction; and coordinated support of the PNP and the Philippine Army to minimize the threat to community peace and order.
The deeper purpose of MWSS’ resettlement plan is to guarantee a sustainable program for the locals and indigenous peoples and those resettled will be tangibly better off as a result of the Kaliwa Dam.