Angat Dam to undergo rehab after 5 decades
BULACAN, Philippines - Nearly 50 years since its first operation in 1967, the aging Angat Dam would finally undergo rehabilitation to ensure it is earthquake-ready.
President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday, July 22, inspected the P1.08-billion ($24 million) Angat dam rehabilitation project in Norzagaray, Bulacan.
The Angat Dam and Dyke Strengthening project aims to increase the height of the dam's core and widen the downstream slope of the dam and dykes.
Aquino blamed the past Arroyo administration for the "conditionally poor" state of the dam, saying the water industry was then managed by 30 various offices under different sectors.
"Kung ikukumpara po natin sa isang banda: Kanya-kanyang tugtog ang mga miyembrong may iba’t ibang instrumento, kaya ang lumalabas na tunog, sabog-sabog at sintunado; imbes na musika, ingay ang nagiging produkto. Ang resulta: palyado ang serbisyo, at kulang pa rin ang supply ng malinis na tubig sa bansa," Aquino in his speech on Wednesday, July 22.
(If we will compare it to a band: Each member has his own music with his instrument, which produces noise Instead of music, what we get is noise. As a result, service is poor and water supply in the country is inadequate.)
In 2002, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the current state of the dam, which provides 97% of Metro Manila and nearby provinces' water supply, would be unable to survive a strong earthquake.
Aside from disrupting the metro's water supply and irrigation in Bulacan and Pampanga, dam failure could endanger the lives of 3 million people as water would flood nearby areas.
But with the rehablitation project, Aquino is confident the problem will be addressed.
"Layunin nating siguruhin ang stabilidad ng dam at dike, upang sa anumang lindol, kahit pa umabot ng hanggang 7.2 magnitude—o sinlakas ng nakaraang lindol sa Bohol—ay kakayanin pa rin ng strukturang ito. Kaakibat nito, magkakabit tayo ng flood forecasting and warning system na nagkakahalagang 261 milyong piso, at magsasagawa ng flood control protection works na 292 milyong piso naman po ang halaga."
(It is our aim to strengthen the dam and dikes so that it can withstand even a 7.2 magnitude quake that hit Bohol years back. Along with this, we will provide flood forecasting and warning system that amounts to P261million and flood control protection amounting to P292 million.)
San Miguel Corporation's subsidiary SMC Global Power and Korea Water Resources Corp (K-water) are in charge of the project, which is set to start this year and finished by 2017. – Rappler.com