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Onset of rainy season likely second week of June —PAGASA

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, May 24th, 2019

Courtesy : pixabay

MANILA, Philippines – Despite consecutive days of rain, state weather bureau PAGASA said it is not time yet to declare the onset of the rainy season.

PAGASA explained it is expecting the arrival of the southwest monsoon or habagat in the second week of June.

That is the time when PAGASA most likely will declare the official start of the rainy season.

“Itong mga pag-ulan natin sa hapon hanggang sa madaling araw indikasyon naman ito na papalapit na talaga tayo sa tagulan o yung tinatawag na transition period or yung pagitan ng tagaraw at saka tagulan,” PAGASA Weather Specialist Benezon Estareja said.

(These afternoon rain showers up to early dawn are indications that we are nearing the rainy season. We are in what we call the transition period or the season in between dry and rainy seasons.)

In line with this, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has started de-clogging esteros to prevent extreme flooding in major cities in Metro Manila.

Aside from the drainage along East Avenue in Quezon City, the MMDA also checked on drainage along Araneta Avenue which heavily submerges in floodwater every time the San Juan river overflows its banks.

“Kasama iyan sa World Bank Project, iyong construction ng dike diyan tapos construction ng additional pumping stations,” explained MMDA Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office Director Baltazar Melgar.

Baltazar assured that all 62 pumping stations in Metro Manila are set to drain floodwater when heavy rains pour.

The Department of Agriculture (DA), meanwhile, is also preparing programs to assist farmers who will be affected by the rainy season.

“Naka-preposition na ang mga binhi natin (at) ready for release. In fact, ang iba (ay) naka-release na nga ng mga binhi,” Secretary Manny Piñol said.

According to the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), around 200,000 hectares of farmland in the country await cropping season in June which is expected to increase further to 800,000 hectares in the coming months. —(with details from Rey Pelayo) Marje Pelayo

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Water storage urged as Angat Dam’s reserve dips near critical level

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, June 17th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Water level in Angat Dam is nearing critical level, according to the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), despite state weather bureau PAGASA’s announcement of the onset of the rainy season last Friday (June 14).

Thus, customers of Manila Water and Maynilad are advised to store water in the days to come in preparation for possible water problems.

“We wanted to clarify na sa ngayon hindi pa ganuoon ka-komportable ang sitwasyon kung ang pinaguusapan natin ay ang suplay ng tubig sa metro manila,” explained NWRB Director Sevillo David Jr. said.

(We wanted to clarify that we cannot be that comfortable with the current situation in terms of water supply in Metro Manila.)

“Kasi po sa ngayon is way below normal po and natatanggap nating tubig sa Angat Dam,” he added.

(It is because the (water supply) we receive for Angat Dam is still way below normal.)

As of 6:00 a.m. Monday (June 17), Angat Dam’s water level is at 162.39 meters, only about two meters high that its critical level of 160 meters.

According to the NWRB, Angat Dam can still supply the water requirements to Metro Manila, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan even with only 160 meters to 155 meters water reserve.

However, the public will have to work on a very limited supply of water if that happens.

The NWRB said Angat Dam’s reserve may dip up to 155 meters if rains will be scarce until the third week of July.

PAGASA said the El Nino phenomenon may persist up to October this year and the only way to increase water level in Angat Dam is through the entry of tropical cyclones.

“Actually, itong mga dams naman natin talagang mapupuno ito. Two to three bagyo lang puno na iyan (Actually, two to three cyclones are enough to fill our dams),” said DR. Esperanza Cayanan, Chief of PAGASA Weather Forecasting Division.

Maynilad and Manila Water started implementing low pressure to no water during peak hours to their customers since last week.

But if Angat Dam’s water level reaches the critical level, the water concessionaires will opt to implement water service interruptions during peak hours.

The water distributor assured, however, that they will give their customers enough time to store water for their domestic needs prior to service interruptions.

“When that happens na mareach natin ang 160 meters sa Angat Dam then we would have to implement officially this time yung rotational service interruptions na and it will be implemented mararamdaman during peak hours,” said Jennifer Rufo of Maynilad.

(When that happens that Angat Dam reaches 160 meters, we would have to implement officially the rotational service interruption during peak hours.)

“Ang standing order namin is as much as possible gawin natin sa gabi. Pero siguro may mga pagkakataon yung ibang ibang areas depending on the design of the distribution network may ibang tatamaan na during peak,” said Ferdinand Dela Cruz of Manila Water.

(Our standing order is to implement it as much as possible in the evening. But there would be instances in some areas depending on the design of the distribution network that the interruptions would be during peak hours.)

If Angat Dam’s water level reaches 155 meters this year, it will be the lowest in history according to the NWRB as compared to 157 meters, the lowest recorded in 2010. (with reports from Joan Nano)

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Water level in Angat Dam dips further

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

File photo: Angat Dam

MANILA, Philippines – As of 6:00 a.m. Wednesday (June 12) water level in Angat Dam hit 164.48 meters, still lower than its minimum operating level of 180 meters.

According to the state weather bureau, PAGASA, this is nearing the lowest level recorded in July 2014 when the water level dipped to 162.74 meters.

“Meron kaming na-observe na malalakas na rainfall sa may bandang Zambales, minsan sa bandang Bicol, Cavite, Laguna which is malayo naman sa watershed ng Angat Dam,” PAGASA Hydrologist Elmer Caringal said.

(We have observed heavy rainfall in areas near Zambales, occasionally in Bicol, Cavite, and Laguna which are far from Angat Dam watershed.)

According to the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) Executive Director Sevillo David Jr., Angat Dam will not provide for irrigation this month of June per protocol of the agency which prioritizes the water requirement for Metro Manila.

“Sa protocol (kapag) below 180 meters (ay) priority ang water supply for evaluation ng Board if magre-release for irrigation,” David said.

At present, Angat Dam’s allocation for Metro Manila stays at 46 cubic meters per second.

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) noted, meanwhile, that farmers in Bulacan and Pampanga are expected to begin cropping season in August when they will be needing water from Angat Dam.

Still, the agency expects cropping to be ahead of schedule with the coming rainy season.

The lowest water level in Angat Dam was recorded in July 2010 when water reserve dipped further to 157.56 meters. (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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MMDA chairman supports hazard pay for traffic enforcers

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Danilo Lim said he supports the implementation of hazard pay for traffic enforcers.

Lim added the department is already providing medicines and insurance but that does not cover casual and job order traffic enforcers. He welcomes the provision of hazard pay.

“Welcome na welcome po iyan. We have made some moves before para mag-request ng hazard pay, 18 years na. Every year naman gumagawa tayo ng recommendations para maayos yan, (That is very welcome. We have made some moves before to request hazard pay, for 18 years. We make recommendations every year to sort it out),” he said.

According to a study headed by scientist Emmanuel Baja, MMDA traffic enforcers face health risks which include high blood pressure and other heart and lung complications.

Researchers found lead, a toxic chemical, in the blood of 158 MMDA personnel assigned to EDSA from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Currently, the traffic enforcers don’t have any kind of hazard pay as part of their salary. This evidenced-based research could help them ask for certain compensation from the Department of Budget and Management and local government units,” according to Baja.

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