Angat Dam needs repairing now

Malolos City, Bulacan — Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado is not laying off from insisting that the national government must act quickly to address much-needed repairs on the decades-old Angat Dam to prevent a disastrous consequence in the event it breaks.

He said that Bulakenyos “want to extend their love and sincerest gratitude to President Aquino” for his swift response for the allocation of a P5.1-billion budget for the rehabilitation and repair of the dam.

Last week, Alvarado asked many students studying in this historic capital city as well as teachers, what they were to do if a magnitude 7.2 earthquake, like the one that hit Bohol last October, jolts the province and breaks the Angat Dam located in Norzagaray.

This question will be answered within next week when the Provincial Government and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, in coordination with the city government, holds a “Dam Break Drill” in four big universities, here.

Alvarado said that the drill aims to prepare students and faculty members when calamities of catasthrophic proportion happen.

“Prevention is the best way to survive and save lives. No one knows when it will come and we are praying that it will not but it is prudent to be ready and alert,” Alvarado said.

He said that it is not only the destruction that the collapse of Angat Dam that should be addressed but also the destruction of buildings and other structures.

Alvarado said that Angat dam can be likened to the proverbial “Sword of Damocles” hanging over the heads of the people of Bulacan.

He said that government experts have confirmed that the 45-year-old earth dam is sitting on the West Valley fault line.

However, Alvarado and other Bulacan officials, including the local media, are wondering why the repair and rehabilitation of Angat dam will start since it was almost a year when the President released the P5.1-billion budget.

“The budget is already there. It (Angat dam) should be repaired and fortified immediately, or else we will go back to square one while the proverbial “Sword of Damocles” continues to hang dangerously over our heads,” he said.

Malolos City Mayor Christian D. Natividad said the “Dam Break Drill” will be conducted at the La Consolacion University, the Bulacan State University, Centro Escolar University, and the Bulacan Polytechnic College.

Natividad said that the city government is also strictly implementing a building code to ensure the strength and stability of buildings and structures being built in the city.

He is affirmative that the said drill will be very successful because he assured that this should be participated by the students from the invited participating universities.

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