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Gov Sy-Alvarado appeals to govt for long-term solution to Bulacan floods

Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado on Monday called on concerned government agencies, particularly the National Power Corp. (Napocor) and the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), to help address the perennial flooding in the province through the enhancement of the water management of Angat dam.

The governor is convinced that the present flooding problem in the towns of Hagonoy and Calumpit would be solved by proper water management, particularly in the operation of the big turbine of Angat dam.

“Stop releasing water from Angat dam. There should be a protocol that is to ask first the local governments before releasing water from Angat,” Alvarado said.

Calumpit and Hagonoy are low-lying towns and major catch basins in Bulacan.

“Angat dam continuously using the big turbine and releases big volume of water through a secret passage at the back of its turbine down to Bustos dam,” Alvarado said.

The governor said that Angat dam officials should use the four auxiliary small turbines instead of using the big turbine.

Operations of a big turbine generate oversupply of electricity for business purposes.

“This is not all about commerce and business, this is about the people of Bulacan and consumers of Metro Manila,” Alvarado said.

He said the flood waters in Calumpit, particularly in the villages of San Jose; Calizon; Bulusan; and Santa Lucia remain due to the flood waters coming from the neighboring provinces of Pampanga and Nueva Ecija, and the continuous release of water from Bustos dam.

The said villages in Calumpit and in Hagonoy are still under 1-2 feet of flood water even though it is no longer raining the past few days.

“The water is stagnant due to the back floods from nearby provinces, along with released water from Bustos Dam,” the governor said.

He urged the Angat Dam officials to temporarily stop using the big turbine and rather use alternatively the four auxiliary turbines for three to four days only, to give time for the flood water in Calumpit and Hagonoy to subside.

“We called for the national government to help the provincial government informing Angat Dam officials regarding the matter to resolve flood problem,” Alvarado said.

The governor, also chairperson of the Regional Development Council in Central Luzon, said that cooperation and proper coordination between Angat dam officials and concerned government agencies will resolve the issue.

“We are not against them, everybody should cooperate and we will support to have a good management,” he said.

Alvarado said the provincial government, and the first and second Bulacan District Engineering Office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), are currently rehabilitating the roads damaged by the recent heavy rains and floods.

“The long-term solutions to address the flood problems in Bulacan and other parts of Central Luzon are underway but this will take some time and the rainy season is just around the corner. There will be floods, but it can be lessened if dam protocols are properly observed and the discharge of dam waters is properly coordinated with the provincial government through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office,” he added.

Two years ago, Alvarado suggested the creation of more mini dams in Nueva Ecija and Candaba swamp to prevent flash floods in coastal areas such as in Calumpit and Hagonoy, and make it a source of potable surface water and irrigation.

Angat Dam, located in Barangay San Lorenzo in Norzagaray, Bulacan is a concrete water reservoir embankment hydroelectric dam that supplies 60 percent of water to Metro Manila area. The dam is also part of the Angat-Ipo-La Mesa water system.

Being used by the sub-reservoir of Maynilad Water Corporation, Angat dam also irrigates about 25,000 hectares of farmland in the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga. (PNA)