Faculty and staff as well as members and officers of the Parents-Teachers Association of a private learning institution in Kabugao expressed their opposition to the construction of GENED I and GENED II hydro-electric power plant within their ancestral lands.
Teachers and staff of the Apayao Community Learning Center and the members and officers of the school’s PTA in a manifestation last November 23 expressed their opposition to the construction of the two dams along the Apayao-Abulog River.
The memorandum signers – 32 teachers and 15 PTA members – say that they are not anti-development but are against the put up of the two massive dams “but not or never at the cost of destruction of our Ancestral Domain.”
The signatories, all members of the Isnag tribe, added: “Not at the cost of our Apayao River. The source of our indigenous sustenance, the source of our indigenous happiness, the identity of our Isnag culture.”
The signatories said ACLC, a premier learning institution in Kabugao, Apayao, is threatened to be inundated since it is but a few meters from the Apayao River.
“Our location is part of the directly impacted barangays for Gened I, with the Apayao River (a) few meters from the institution,” they wrote.
The school has produced leaders that not only served the municipality but the province as well.
“The school is part of the history of the province, not just of Kabugao, and is home to educational materials significant to history and culture of the Isnag people,” they wrote.
The petitioners prayed that concerned authorities, the proponent and their leaders to “let the will prevail for an intelligent decision on the projects.”
They further called said people to: “allow the community to assert their rights without manipulation, threat, intimidation and maneuvering.”
The signatories said that they stand with the Kabugao IPs in opposing construction of said dams.
They added: “We pray that our voice, along with the elders, leaders and youth, will reach the halls of the concerned entities.”