Other major dams can be alternative water sources for Luzon – DA

Marje Pelayo   •   March 28, 2019   •   2173

Based on the March 14, 2019 report of PAGASA, La Mesa Dam has reached its lowest water level in 21 years at 68.74, meters.

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is proposing alternative water sources to address the depleting water supply in Metro Manila.

According to Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, Metro Manila can get water supply from other dams in Luzon that are used mainly for irrigation aside from the Angat, Ipo, and La Mesa water reservoirs.

An example, the secretary noted, is the Pantabangan Dam in Nueva Ecija.

Piñol argued that farmlands do not need irrigation whole year round; therefore, water supply in these dams can be utilized to augment the water requirement in Metro Manila.

“Ang tubig ng malalaking dams dyan pwedeng idivert sa Metro Manila during the times na hindi namin kailangan sa Palayan, (Water reserves in large dams can be diverted to [supply] Metro Manila during times when farmlands do not use much water),” the Agriculture Secretary said.

The official stressed, however, that a thorough study and planning should be undertaken before the proposal is implemented.

The secretary argued that if additional solar irrigation systems were built in Central Luzon, water reserve from these alternative dams could be utilized for Metro Manila’s domestic use.

Earlier this month, Metro Manila suffered water crisis due to the depletion of water reserve in La Mesa Dam.

Since Metro Manila’s population continues to grow, the level of water supply needed also increases.

Based on its business plan, Maynilad has predicted a growth of one million customers by the end of its concession term in 2037.

This translates to about one billion liters per day of consumption.

Manila Water, meanwhile, has an existing list of 6.8 million clients.

Just by these figures, the Angat Dam’s reserve is already nearing critical level, which prompted Secretary Piñol to propose such alternative water sources.

Aside from the Pantabangan Dam, another reservoir in Arayat, Pampanga known as the Cong. Dadong Dam has been supplying water to farmlands in the province and nearby Nueva Ecija.

According to UNTV’s source, the dam’s feasibility study has already been completed but there are issues that need to be discussed with its proponents.

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said it would only require long conduits for the water to reach Metro Manila.

Cong. Dadong Dam is about 70 kilometers away from Quezon City as compared to Angat Dam which is 50 kilometers away. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Rey Pelayo)

IATF amends guidelines in NCR alert level 4 restrictions

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (AITF-MEID) has amended the guidelines for the implementation of the Alert Level 4 in the National Capital Region (NCR), Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the revised guidelines will take effect on October 1 should the pilot implementation of the alert level system be extended next month.

The new strategy is being imposed in virus hotspots in the NCR until September 30.

The amendments recently approved by the IATF include allowing individual outdoor exercises within general area of residence for persons not required to remain in their respective homes.

Authorities earlier allowed outdoor exercises for residents regardless of health and vaccination status, but they shall only be limited to moving within their village or barangay.

Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 and for the cremains of COVID-19 deceased shall be allowed.

Attendance to these services, however, will only be limited to immediate family members, the IATF said.

All contact sports, whether indoor or outdoor, will remain prohibited. Those being conducted under a “bubble-type” setup are exempted.

Personal care establishments and home services are still not allowed. These services include aesthetic and cosmetic services or procedures, make up services, spas, reflexology, wellness, and holistic services and other similar procedures.

Dagdag operational capacity, hirit ng ilang restaurant owners sa Metro Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   September 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Nananawagan ang ilang may-ari ng restaurants sa Metro Manila na taasan pa ang antas ng pinapayagang operational capacity upang makabawi naman sila mula sa matinding pagkalugi.

Ayon kay Eric Teng, ang pinuno ng Restaurant Owners of the Philippines, kakaunti lang ang maaari nilang i-accommodate na customers bagaman pinahihintulutan ang dine-in services sa ilalim ng alert level system sa Metro Manila.

“Yung situation po kase namin ngayon yung alert level 4 is 10 percent lang po ang indoor. Natutuwa na po kami kung pwede na pong maiakyat sa 30% sa alert level 3,” ani Teng.

Aniya, bakunado na ang kanilang mga empleyado kontra COVID-19 kaya kung maaari ay mapayagan na ang mga restaurant na tumanggap ng mas maraming customer.

Nais rin ng ilang business owners na maipatupad ang pag-prisinta ng vaccination cards bilang isa sa mga requirements para sa dine-in services.

“Sa situation na pagka 30 percent na wala na pong restriction yun whether vaccinated or not kaya inaabangan po talaga namin yun,” ang pahayag ni Teng.

“Marami pong nagagalit dahil hindi po dala yung vaccine card. Ang gusto po sana namin i-enforce po sana yung instructions sa amin na kailangang humingi ng vaccine card,” dagdag pa niya.

Sinabi rin ni Teng na nauunawaan nila ang sitwasyon sa usaping pangkalusugan subalit nahihirapan na rin ang kanilang mga empleyado lalo’t wala naman silang ayudang natatanggap.

Una nang sinabi ng Department of Trade and Industry na pinag-aaralan na nila ang posibilidad na dagdagan pa ang allowed capacity sa mga kainan sa gitna ng COVID-19 pandemic.

Public urged to cooperate as NCR shifts to quarantine alert levels system

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has called for public cooperation as the pilot implementation of granular lockdowns and quarantine alert levels system in the National Capital Region (NCR) begins Thursday.

In a statement, PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said the public can help ensure the success of the test by strictly adhering to protocols and being mindful of their own protection from the dreaded COVID-19.

“Sa pag-umpisa ng Alert Level 4 at granular lockdown sa Metro Manila ngayong araw, muling nakikiusap ang inyong PNP sa ating mga kababayan na makiisa at isapuso ang mga alintuntuning ipinapatupad para sa kaligtasan ng lahat,” he said.

Authorities on Thursday began the pilot implementation of the new alert levels system in Metro Manila that seek to curb COVID-19 cases and allow some industries to resume operations.

Metro Manila has been placed under alert level 4 due to high case counts and healthcare utilization rate.

Under the second highest alert level, certain restrictions will be imposed on establishments and activities that are classified as 3 Cs – closed spaces, crowded areas, and activities that promote close contact.

The policy allows certain indoor activities under specific seating capacity for fully vaccinated individuals. Granular lockdowns will also be implemented in particular barangays, buildings and other areas with high infection rate.

In the duration of the said system, curfew hours will be shortened to 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Eleazar said police personnel will also continue to implement quarantine and public health protocols.

“Naniniwala ang inyong PNP na ang patuloy na pagsuway ng ilan nating kababayan ay isa sa mga dahilan ng pagtaas ng kaso. Kaya hinihikayat natin ang ating mga kababayan na isa-puso ang mga alintuntuning ito kasama ang pagrespeto sa mas maraming bilang ng mga Pilipino na sumusunod sa mga patarakan at ang pagbibigay ng malasakit sa ating mga healthcare workers na bugbog na sa patuloy na pagdami ng mga kaso ng COVID,” he said.

Data from the PNP showed that a total of 224,626 violators were accosted in Metro Manila alone for violation of the minimum public health safety from August 21 to September 15 when the National Capital Region is under the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine.

A total of 87,729 were accosted for curfew violation and another 15,296 for violation of the ban on unnecessary travel for non-Authorized Persons Outside Residence.

In the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, a total of 1,153,833 violators were accosted for violating of public health protocols, curfew and prohibition on unnecessary travels from August 21 to September 15, the PNP said.

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