22 July 2015

President Aquino inspects Angat Dam in Bulacan
(NORZAGARAY, Bulacan) President Benigno S. Aquino III said here Wednesday that a P1.08 billion-rehabilitation project would strengthen the structure of the Angat Dam and Dike to enable it to withstand a strong earthquake.“Todo rehabilitasyon nga po ang gagawin natin dito. Gamit ang pondong 1.08 bilyong piso, 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,” the President said during his speech after he inspected the dam.

“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,” he said.

The President noted that the Angat Dam has never undergone any major rehabilitation since it was built more than 50 years ago.

Considering that the dam lies near the West Valley fault, the absence of a proper surveillance system and the questionable stability of its structure make the dam vulnerable in case of a major earthquake, putting at risk the lives of some 3 million Filipinos, along with their properties and livelihood, he explained.

Any serious damage to the dam, he said, would also disrupt water supply in Metro Manila and parts of Rizal, Bulacan and Cavite, affecting 15 million people, and cut off irrigation for almost 27,000 hectares of farmlands in Bulacan and Pampanga.
President Aquino said the rehabilitation of Angat Dam is part of a bigger strategy to improve the water sector.

“Kabilang din po rito ang Angat Water Utilization and Aqueduct Improvement Project Phase 2, na nakumpleto na natin noon pang 2012, at 10 buwan ahead of schedule. Ongoing naman ang bidding ng iba pa nating proyekto tulad ng Kaliwa Dam sa Rizal, ang Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project, at ang Angat Water Transmission Improvement Project,” he added.

The project to strengthen Angat dam, to be spearheaded by the Angat Hydropower Corporation (AHC), will involve increasing the height of the dam’s impervious core and widening its downstream slope.

The AHC is a local corporation co-owned by the SMC Global Power Holdings Corporation, a subsidiary of San Miguel Corporation, and the Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-Water).

K-Water Chief Executive Officer Gye-Woon Choi, in his speech, said since the Angat Dam provides drinking water to 10 million Filipinos, they are committed to complete the project in two years.

He also pledged that AHC will make Angat Dam one of the “most safe and essential facilities” in the Philippines.

Present during the event were Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, San Miguel Corporation President Ramon Ang, AHC President Geung Jeon Han, and K-Water Chief Executive Officer Gye-Woon Choi. PND (ag)