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Bulacan gov calls for immediate action to rehabilitate Angat Dam
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
CITY OF MALOLOS – In a meeting held recently with the Provincial Government of Bulacan, Metropolitan Waterworks Sewerage System (MWSS), National Power Corporation and other stakeholders of Angat Dam, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado suggested to come up with a concrete plan and immediate action to rehabilitate the forty-three year old dam.

The suggestion was brought about by the reports regarding the crack found in Angat Dam that may cause the same tragedy that Japan and New Zealand had experienced if ever the dam will be hit by a strong earthquake.

However, continuous monitoring and studies are being made to prevent this from happening and to find ways to safely and effectively rehabilitate Angat Dam.

Gov. Alvarado said, concerned agencies should not only prioritize the people of Manila but also the residents of Bulacan and Pampanga whose lives and properties will be directly affected if a strong earthquake strikes the dam.

He added that having a sustainable plan will help solve the deforestation near the dam that causes siltation as well as the removal of mud.

“Sa Ipo Dam, mahigit 50 porsiyento o katumbas ng 3,000 ektarya ng mga puno ang pinutol, sa Angat Dam naman ay mahigit 20 porsiyento o katumbas ng 11,000 ektarya, dalawang beses na malaki sa watershed. That is the reason why Angat Dam and Ipo Dam are silted, dahil sinisipsip na yung tubig ng siltation, bumababa ‘yung tubig”, said Alvarado.

On the other hand, MWSS Administrator Gerry Baldo said they are presently conducting a study with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PhiVolcS) headed by Rene Solidum, regarding the technical aspect and immediate actions to execute in case an earthquake hits the dam.

Alvarado also suggested that there must be equal sharing of water rights in Angat Dam, wherein at present, 97 percent of water from the said dam is being supplied to Metro Manila while it is stated in the Local Government Code Article 10 Section 7 that local governments shall be entitled to an equitable share in the proceeds of the utilization and development of the national wealth within their respective areas, in the manner provided by law, including sharing the same with the inhabitants by way of direct benefits.

He added, “out of the 60 cubic mps. na laman ng Angat dam, 22 is allocated by the National Water Source Board to Metro Manila’s domestic use, 36 to our farmers, two is for other purposes, but record will show us that 50-54 cubic mps. kinukuha ng MWSS and Maynilad Water Corp. Also, record will also show us that 50 percent of the water thrown by the MWSS is unaccounted for, and the worst part of it, that 50% not accounted for is more than enough to irrigate the entire province of Bulacan and Pampanga and you don’t even pay us a single centavo.”

Meanwhile, Atty. Rustico de Belen, head of Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources Office and Bro. Martin Francisco of Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society Inc. visited the bald forest areas near the dam via a helicopter to be able to come up with a plan for rehabilitation. ###

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