‘Speed up Angat Dam’s rehab’

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MALOLOS, Bulacan: Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado reiterated his appeal to the authorities to speed up the rehabilitation of Angat Dam amid growing concerns over its structural integrity.

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Alvarado, during the launching of the province’s observance of the Environment Month on Monday, said the dam posed grave threat to the residents of Bulacan, Pampanga and Metro Manila if a strong earthquake hit the water reservoir.

“Angat Dam is situated on the highest spot of the mountain, and if it will break, everything on its way will be damaged because of the height of the water,” Alvarado said.

“You cannot hide under the table if the earthquake strikes because of the raging water,” he added.

The appeal came after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology released a report detailing the areas under the West Valley Fault.

The village of San Lorenzo in Norzagay, where the 47-year old Angat Dam is located, is also sitting under the fault line.

Angat Dam, for the past four decades, has been a valuable structure for the people of Luzon, supplying 97 percent of Metro Manila’s water needs and irrigation almost 27, 000 hectares of lands in Bulacan and Pampanga.

Alvarado said he recently met with an official of the Korean Water Corporation (K-water), the private company who won the bidding for the management and maintenance of the Angat hydroelectric powerplant, where the dam belongs.

The K-Water has several plans for the power plant, but Alvarado said that it is the rehabilitation of the Angat Dam that should be prioritized.

In an interview with the Manila Times, the Private Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), the government agency in charge of the Angat HEPP turnover, said the rehabilitation of the dam is mandatory based on the Operation and Maintenance Agreement they signed with the K-Water.

“[The Transaction Documents] provides that the Operator (K-Water/AHC) shall perform mandatory Rehabilitation Activities to the Non-power Components such as dams, spillways and other appurtenant structures to make them conform to current international standards for such structures,” said Katrina Frances M. Domingo, chief of staff of PSALM President Emmanuel R. Ledesma.

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System will also help in the rehabilitation of the Angat Dam.

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