NWRB: Angat Dam to hit critical level on Saturday

Robie de Guzman   •   June 21, 2019   •   2054

MANILA, Philippines – The water elevation at Angat Dam is expected to breach the critical level of 160 meters on Saturday, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said Friday.

Based on the monitoring of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), as of 6 a.m., the water level at Angat dam is at 160.28 meters down from Thursday’s 160.73 meters.

NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David Jr. said they expect the water level at Angat dam to reach the critical mark by Friday night or Saturday morning.

If the level drops below 160 meters, David said, this would mean further reduction of water allocation from the current 40 cubic meters per second (cms).

The NWRB earlier said that if the critical level is reached, the allocation for the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) will be adjusted again to give way to the shutting down of the auxiliary unit.

READ: NWRB set to reduce allocation to water concessionaires

At least 36 cms will be allocated for the MWSS until the dam further declines to 150 meters if there is no significant inflow in the coming days.

This is to lessen the effect of limited water supply from the reservoir until the rainfall replenishes the Angat Watershed.

The agency said that based on the report of the state weather bureau Pagasa, significant rainfall will hit the Angat Dam in July.

“Base po sa latest projection ng PAGASA, ngayong July magkakaroon po ng nga significant rainfall sa Angat Watershed,” David said.

“But we are hoping that in July darating po ng mas maaga ‘yan para po one: makapabalik na, makapag-recharge ‘yung tubig sa Angat Dam at mag-increase na yung level,” he added.

The NWRB earlier estimated that rainfall from at least two to three tropical cyclones are needed to completely fill up the dam. (with details from Joan Nano)

Maynilad warns of possible water service interruption in coming days

Robie de Guzman   •   October 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Maynilad Water Services Inc. on Tuesday warned its customers it may implement daily rotational water service interruptions in the coming days due to the declining water levels in Angat and Ipo dams.

In a statement, Maynilad said the water levels at Angat and Ipo watersheds are dropping due to scant rains in the past few days.

The west zone water concessionaire explained that because the current water allocation from Angat dam remains at 40 cubic meters per second, the water supply entering Ipo dam and Maynilad’s treatment facilities were not sufficient.

The normal water allocation is 48 cms.

If their reservoirs will not be replenished, and water levels at Angat and Ipo dams remain low, Maynilad said it may implement rotational water service interruption in the following days.

The utility firm advised customers to visit its social media accounts for the final schedule of water service interruption, which may be posted on Wednesday, October 16.

“Tandaan ang daily service interruption schedule sa inyong lugar at paghandaan ito, dahil posibleng maipatupad na ito sa mga suusnod na araw depende sa aktwal na pag-ulan na magaganap sa Angat at Ipo watersheds,”

It also reminded customers to store enough water prior to the scheduled interruption in their area.

NCRPO records low crime rate in Metro Manila

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 2, 2019

Newly promoted policemen stand in formation during a mass promotion ceremony at the police headquarters in Taguig City, south of Manila, Philippines, 27 March 2019. EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has recorded a low crime rate in Metro Manila from July 2016 to September 2019.

According to NCRPO Director PMGen. Guillermo Eleazar there were 49,835 crime incidents recorded from July 2016 to September 2019 which is 62 percent lower compared to the 131,839 crime incidents recorded from April 2013 to June 2016.

However, based on the NCRPO records, murder cases increased by 60 percent. From July 2016 to September 2019, murder cases increased by 4,295 compared with the 2,682 cases recorded from April 2013 to June 2016.

Eleazar said the increase in the murder cases is due to the illegal drug campaign of the government.

“Dahil sa ating campaign against illegal drugs. Ito’y mga sindikatong nagpapatayan dahil they want to silence ang mga members ng syndicates (It is because of our campaign against illegal drugs. There are syndicates who are killing each other because they want to silence syndicate members),” he said.

Meanwhile, the number of cases in homicide, physical injury, rape, theft, and robbery decreased.

Eleazar is confident crime rate will continue to decline.

“Kasi sa city ordinances naiiwasan natin iyong mga petty crimes. At kapag naiwasan iyan ay maiiwasan din natin ang mga serious crimes to happen— nagiging effective ang ating crime prevention, (Because in city ordinances, petty crimes are prevented. And once it is prevented, we can also prevent serious crimes to happen)” he said.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

ADB study finds Metro Manila as most congested city in developing Asia

Robie de Guzman   •   September 26, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Metro Manila is the most congested city in Asia, a recent study conducted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has found.

According to ADB’s Macroeconomic Research Division, of the 278 cities studied to measure citywide congestion, the metropolis is the most congested natural city.

Natural cities, the ADB said, are those with a population greater than five million.

According to ADB’s latest outlook released on Wednesday, congestion arises when demand for travel exceeds the maximum capacity of the transportation network.

The study showed that Metro Manila has average citywide congestion of 1.5 which is the highest among the 24 largest cities in the region.

Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia came in second in the list of most congested cities, followed by Yangon City in Myanmar, Dhaka in Bangladesh and Bengaluru in India.

The ADB used nighttime lights from satellite images of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, grid population data from LandScan Datasets of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and trip routes from Google maps to estimate travel time during peak and off-peak hours.

The study estimated the extent of congestion based on the time lost and vehicle operating cost of a traveler.

“We calculated the ratio of driving duration during a peak hour to the off-peak hour between two locations in each direction and averaged across two opposite directions to obtain a congestion index for each location pair, which basically indicated the time needed to travel in peak-hour traffic relative to free-flowing traffic,” it said.

To remain dynamic and to resolve traffic congestions, the ADB said, these cities need to build more efficient transport networks and address weak infrastructure, as well as housing and education and health care services.

In response to the report, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said the study tagging Metro Manila is based on facts as its population has already reached more than 12 million.

MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago also said the congestion in the metropolis is the result of many factors, including the overcrowding of people and vehicles.

“By fact, figures won’t lie that with the presence of 410,000 vehicles traversing Edsa (per day), 17 malls, 47 bus terminals, 150 perpendicular roads, number of schools and universities in primary roads, lack of road network and the day time population which is more than 10 million. We are totally congested,” Pialago said in a statement.

Congress, for its part, said it is moving to address the country’s traffic woes but it is unlikely to grant the present administration’s bid for emergency powers.

“Pwede pa naman kasi magkaroon ng iba lang ang pangalan pero consolidation pa rin ng mga kailangan nila. Ito naman ay traffic assistance, traffic management baka yan ang gagawin natin pero lahat ng kailangan nila right of way, procurement, pati na rin traffic plan ng mga local government ay pwedeng ipagsama sama pa rin sa bill na yun. Iba lang ang pangalan,” said Senator Grace Poe, who chairs the Senate committee on public services.

Samar 1st District Representative Edgar Sarmiento, who chairs the House committee on transportation, echoed Poe’s statement.

“We want to avoid “emergency” that’s why we are using “crisis.” Parehas lang ito but by law, by constitution, you can only use emergency in case of lawless violence… With this resolution, we can again empower the executives to come up finally with formula kung paano nila maa-adress ang traffic,” he said.

Malacañang, meanwhile, reiterated that the country’s problem on traffic cannot be solved by the executive branch alone and would need the cooperation of other government branches.

“Di ba sinabi ni Presidente, ‘gusto kong gawan ng paraan, ayaw ninyo naman.’ Kailangan kasi all branches must cooperate with each other, di pwedeng isang branch ng gobyerno ang mamahala at tutugon sa pangangailangan ng mga kababayan natin, otherwise talagang mahihirapan,” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

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