Position Paper on the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project Phase II
The Philippine Network of Food Security Programmes (PNFSP) vehemently opposes the construction of the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project Phase II (JRMP2) since it will only result in the displacement of the Tumandok tribe living in the hinterlands of Calinog, the location of the project site.
The Tumandoks have been living in the mountains of Panay Island since time immemorial. It is therefore unjust for them to abandon their ancestral lands because of a so-called “development project” such as the JRMP2. For indigenous people, the identity of their people is tied to their ancestral land. If the Tumandoks are forced to leave their homes, their native way of life will eventually disappear and the loss of their livelihood will lead to food insecurity.
As part of their indigenous culture, the Tumandoks practice swidden farming. They are able to cultivate cassava, papaya, banana, coffee,mango,sweet potato,coconut ,upland rice and a lot more as a source of domestic consumption and income. They also have a ritual before and after harvesting their traditional varities of palay.
All of these practices are gravely threatened because of the JRMP2. Their ancestral lands are sold off to foreign investors in energy projects, mining and logging,plantation, real estate,special economic zones and tourism project.
In the course of supposed “national development”, it is the indigenous people who serve as the “sacrificial lamb” since they experience massive landgrabbing, displacement, harassment, and food insecurity. The government does not recognize their significant role as food producers for our country.###