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Alvarado calls for immediate action to prevent tragedies in Bulacan
By: PPAO
Friday, 17 February 2012
CITY OF MALOLOS- Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado urged the national government to take immediate action to protect the Angat dam watershed area from massive illegal logging activities which a cultural minority group fears will wreck havoc on the safety of the Angat dam and Ipo dam.

The governor made this call after the Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society (SSMES) and an ABS-CBN news team conducted investigative documentation on the watershed area and other parts of the Sierra Madre mountain range recently.

Bro. Martin Franscisco, chairman of SSMES, said a group of Dumagat tribesmen showed them some parts of the Angat dam watershed area where trees were recently cut by illegal loggers who were believed to be protected by armed men.

The Dumagats tribesmen living at Mount Inuman also showed Franscisco and ABS-CBN reporter Julius Babao some fissures or cracks in the mountains which they said are getting bigger and deeper.

Franscisco reported to the governor that the Dumagat’s tribesmen are apprehensive that the cracks might trigger landslides that could wipe-out communities in the areas which could also compromise the structural integrity of the 44-year old Angat dam and nearby Ipo dam, since the country is now experiencing earthquakes.

“Kinatatakutan ng marami na gumalaw na ang Marikina West Valley Faultline kung saan ay matatagpuan din sa loob ng Angat dam watershed. Kung kaya sumulat ang mga katutubo kay Gob. Willy Alvarado na tulungan silang mapigil ang pagkakalbo ng kabundukang Sierra Madre at maibestigahan ang nasabing bitak sa bahagi ng bundok "Bantal" sa Angat. Ikinatatakot ng mga katutubo na tuluyang gumuho at masarhan ang isang malaking bahagi ng ilog “Matulid” na mayroong malaking posibilidad na makalikha ng isang pansamantalang earth-dam na mabubugnos sa panahon ng tag-ulan,” Franscisco said.

As a result, Alvarado called on the national government to declare a total log ban in the area and that the function of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on this aspect is devolved to local government units by way of an executive order.

He also proposed that the national government should immediately look into the status and strengths of dams in the vis-à-vis a strong earthquake or powerful typhoons, with special attention and focus be given on the 44-year old Angat dam where its reservoir is said to be sitting along the Marikina fault line according to the Philvolcs.

Alvarado also said that the proposed bill on the management of dams in the country be enacted into law immediately to ensure public safety and damages to infrastructures and crops during typhoon season.

“Baka ang mga kalamidad na ito na ang parusa at kabayaran ng mga kalapastangang ginawa sa kapaligiran at kalikasan kung kaya’t panahon na para magkaisa at harapin ang mga problemang ito para magkaroon ng kalutasan,” Alvarado added. ###

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