Bulacan vice gov exposes ‘anomalous’ Bustos Dam’s rehabilitation works

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Bulacan Vice Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — Vice Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado has exposed an “anomalous” rehabilitation works on Bustos Dam.

In his recent privilege speech at the regular session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Alvarado decried the damage incurred by one of the rubber gates of the recently rehabilitated Bustos Dam.

He pointed out that the rubber gate used in the rehabilitation of the dam has a factory defect and was made from China and questioned if there is neglect on the part of the Quality Control Division of NIA.

He said this is gross and inexcusable negligence that may lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and warned of a “delubyo” (catastrophe) is waiting to happen at the said dam.

He explained that during the rainy season, the water level of the said dam is normally at 17 meters high and during a typhoon, one of its six rubber gates can release 500 cubic meters per second (cms) of water that can inundate most of Hagonoy and Calumpit towns.

If all the six rubber gates of the dam collapse it can release a total of 3,000 cms of water that can submerge 16 towns of the province under several feet of floodwater, Alvarado said.

As these developed, Alvarado said that there is a need to look into the conditions of the five other rubber gates of Bustos Dam.

Alvarado cited that the Bustos Dam recently rehabilitation works undergo bidding in the 3rd quarter of 2016 for a budget of P1 Billion that includes concreting of its main canals.

On August 5, 2018, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) regional office announced that 98.66 of the rehabilitation works were completed and only needed for the installation of the water sprinklers of the rubber gate to prevent it from getting brittle due to the heat of the sun, the vice governor noted.

However, Alvarado lamented that in the first week of May this year, Rubber Gate 5 of its six rubber gates suffered damages.

Meanwhile, Josephine Salazar, regional director of NIA in Central Luzon, confirmed to RONDA BALITA Online that rehabilitation works on the said dam is ongoing.

On the other hand, Larry Ballesteros, Bulacan NIA manager, explained that Rubber Gate No. 5 of Bustos Dam was not totally damaged but only suffered leaks.

“As remedial measure and to make the system operational this wet cropping season we decided to install sheet file supported by sandbag at bay 5,” Ballesteros added.

Earlier, Felix Robles, chief of the water control and coordinating unit of Bustos Dam, has confirmed that the repair works on Bustos Dam’s Rubber Gate 5 was not completed on its target date of May 15 saying that during its test operations air leaks were detected on its air bladder. (RONDA BALITA Online)

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