[In the news] Joint fact-finding committee runs non-partisan survey on proposed Pulangi V -MindaNews
By Walter I. Balane
February 14, 2012
MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/13 February) – A mediation group, Mediator’s Network for Sustainable Peace (Mednet), Inc., has facilitated the formation of a joint fact-finding committee composed of representatives from the proponent, the opponents, and the communities affected by the proposed 300-megawatt Pulangi hydroelectric power project in southern Bukidnon and Cotabato provinces, Malaybalay Bishop Jose Cabantan said.
Cabantan told the 42nd Diocesan Pastoral Assembly, the biggest gathering of church leaders in the diocese’s 49 parishes around the province, that the proposed Pulangi V project, along with the peace and order situation in Upper Pulangi, is a concern for the diocese.
He said Mednet, a non-government organization focused on social development in peace and conflict resolution, can help gather the two parties together despite the differences in positions, and talk about it.
Cabantan said that when he assumed in 2011, then Malaybalay Bishop Honesto Pacana had already asked Mednet to come down and help. Mednet came in the picture in 2010 when Pacana was still bishop.
He told MindaNews Friday he needed to explain about Mednet to the church workers because the information about the group’s role was not cascaded down to the communities, especially in southern Bukidnon where the project was proposed to be built. He said a survey has started in the communities of Dangcagan town already.
The 17-member joint committee has initiated the survey among the affected communities to check on the people’s understanding of the proposed project, as well as socio-economic profile of the settlers and indigenous peoples that will be affected, according to Caroliza Tulod-Peteros, Mednet mediation service coordinator.
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