Report: Initial Investigation on the Libmanan-Cabusao Dam Project (LCDP) in Sipocot River

Completed: November 2009
Prepared by: Dr. Emelina G. Regis

Introduction

The Libmanan-Cabusao Dam Project is proposed by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Region V, based in Naga City. It has been given an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC Reference Code 0904-008-4520) by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Quezon City, dated April 20, 2009 and signed by the DENR Secretary Jose L. Atienza, Jr. (Appendix A). The duration of the project is 3 years. Based on its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of March 2009, its objectives are: 1) to optimize the use of water and land resources by replacing the pump used to irrigate the present system with a concrete diversion dam [in general], and 2) [specifically] to cut down the cost of operation and increase farm income in aid of farmer beneficiaries.

The project however is not located in Libmanan, rather, it is in Sipocot, Camarines Sur with backwater (inundation water) in 13 barangays of Lupi and 1 barangay in Sipocot. Currently, the dam is being constructed (Appendix A1) in Barangay Malaguico of Sipocot and has been going on for the last 4 months with a contract to finish in 18 months.

The fear of concerned residents of Lupi led them to seek assistance from the INECAR to investigate the problem. Likewise, Bishop Jose Rojas, Jr. of the Diocese of Libmanan also made a request to the undersigned because of the serious apprehension of the people from the same municipality regarding the possible destruction that could result upon the completion of the dam in Sipocot. As this matter is of great concern, the Institute for Environmental Conservation and Research (INECAR), Ateneo de Naga University, conducted an initial investigative study in October 17, 2009 for the following objectives:

1) To know the current status of the dam being built in Sipocot
2) To assess the approved Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of NIA
3) To find out the sentiments and fear of the people of Lupi regarding the dam project
4) To propose possible alternatives for sourcing water for Libmanan and Cabusao