MANILA, Philippines – Reacting to news reports that San Miguel was putting its Laiban Dam ambitions on hold, advocacy group Freedom from Debt Coalition today challenged San Miguel Corp. President Ramon S. Ang today to make good his threat and formally drop the Laiban Dam “monster.”

FDC vice president Loretta Ann Rosales welcomed SMC’s acknowledgment of the bad publicity that the diversified conglomerate company has been getting from their negotiations with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).

“What we'd like to see, however, is a formal end to these negotiations,” said Rosales, adding that the Laiban Dam project should be abandoned altogether, not just by San Miguel, but by the MWSS and its concessionaires as well.

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MANILA, Philippines – It seems that the data the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System presented in a press conference Thursday on water shortage projection by 2015 contradicts with the study of Asian Development Bank citing the water agency itself as a source, according to an advocacy group.

In a statement, Freedom from Debt Coalition said, citing ADB’s Completion Report titled “Philippines: New Water Source Development Project” which was released on July 2009, the supply deficit projection for 2015 is only 480 million liters per day (MLD), contrary to the pronouncement of MWSS Administrator Diosdado  Allado that there will be a shortage of at least 1,600 million liters per day (MLD) by the same year.

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A Position Paper of the Freedom from Debt Coalition
August 2009

In early July of this year, news reports emerged of a pending deal between the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage Services (MWSS) and San Miguel Bulk Water Inc for the implementation of the long-proposed Laiban Dam Project through a joint venture agreement. Since these reports came out, allegations of non-transparency in the entire negotiation process between the MWSS and San Miguel have been hurled by the National Economic Development Authority against the MWSS. Local and environmental groups, on the other hand, have risen again against these new developments, condemning the project itself for its disastrous impact on the lives of the families residing in the project area.

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MANILA, Philippines – The proposed Laiban Dam is not only a large dam, it is a monster.

This was according to debt watchdog Freedom from Debt Coalition as it reminded the government of the negative impacts of large dams on people and environment worldwide, amid the swelling opposition to the proposed construction of the US$1-billion Laiban Dam in Tanay, Rizal.

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MANILA, Philippines – Advocacy group Freedom from Debt Coalition today urged the government to abandon the controversial $1-billion Laiban Dam project, stressing that said proposed undertaking is disadvantageous to more than 12 million consumers of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).

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