Bahagi ng Magat Dam makakikitaan ng mababang water level (UNTV News)
ISABELA, Philippines — Patuloy ang mabilis na pagbaba ng water level sa Magat Dam sa probinsya ng Isabela.
Ayon sa pamunuan ng National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Dam and Reservoir Division, kung magpapatuloy ang mainit na panahon at hindi uulan ay aabot na sa critical level ang tubig sa dam sa loob lamang ng mahigit isang linggo.
“Kung tatlong araw isang metro siyam na araw gagamitin na tubig para maabot yung 160, yung power generation natin magsu-supply pa rin ng tubig para sa irrigation kaya lang hindi na kaya dahil limitado na,” pahayag ni Emmanuel Salamanca, Magat Dam Senior Engineer.
Alas-9 ng umaga kanina, nasa 166.68 ang water level sa Magat Dam, mataas lamang ng ilang metro sa critical level nito na 160 meters.
Ayon kay Salamanca, aabot sa mahigit 80-libong ektaryang sakahan ang umaasa sa patubig galing sa naturang dam mula sa 20 bayan kabilang dito ang bayan ng Alicia, Angadanan, Cabatuan, Cauayan, Luna, Naguillian, Reyna Mercedes, Ramon, San Isidro at ang Santiago City.
Dagdag pa ni Salamanca, naantala na ang planting schedule ng mga magsasaka na umaasa sa patubig na galing sa naturang dam.
Unang linggo pa lamang ng buwan ng Mayo ay dapat nakapag-handa na ang mga magsasaka sa pagtatanim subalit dahil sa kakulangan ng tubig sa dam ay nadelay ang pagtatanim nila para sa wet season.
Ayon sa tala ng NIA, naitala ang pinakababang water level sa Magat Dam noong 1991 na umabot sa 149 meters. (Grace Doctolero / Ruth Navales, UNTV News)
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) on Tuesday (October 19) announced that Magat, Ambuklao, and Binga dams continue to release water.
A 6 am advisory from Pagasa said that Ambuklao dam has opened 2 gates at point-6 meters and Magat and Binga dams have opened one gate each.
Ambuklao has reached 751.83 meters water level, very close to its high normal water level of 752 meters.
Binga Dam, on the other hand, has reached 574.47 meters water level, nearing the high normal water level of 575 meters; while Magat dam water level is now at 191.83 meters which is getting close to 193 meters high normal water level.
On Monday, Pagasa started issuing warnings of possible flooding in areas likely to be affected by the opening of gates of Ambuklao, Binga and Magat dams. —/mbmf
MANILA, Philippines — Rehabilitation efforts in Cagayan River are set to begin on Tuesday (February 2).
The project will include the dredging of sandbars and widening of the river.
The non-structure intervention is estimated to cost around P2.3 billion which will run from this year until 2025.
Relocation of affected residents near the river, such as those in Tuguegarao City, is also part of the rehabilitation.
“We have to relocate them. We are communicating with the National Housing Authority but we are setting aside parts of our budget for the relocation of those who will be affected and those who are perennially affected by the flooding,” explained Mayor Jefferson Soriano of Tuguegarao City.
Massive tree-planting activity is also another part of the long-term mitigation program to prevent future floods.
Meanwhile, the Committee on Agriculture and Food on Friday (January 29) resumed the inquiry on the massive flooding that affected areas near the Cagayan and Marikina rivers during the onslaught of tropical cyclone Ulysses last year.
The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) presented their plan for the revision of Magat Dam protocol especially on releasing water.
NIA Administrator General Ricardo Visaya (Ret.) said that from the current six hours, activation of warning stations shall be done 24 hours before the pre-release of water.
This will be accompanied by the information given to the public through text messaging.
Releasing of water before the landfall of a tropical cyclone will also be carried out one day ahead to avoid massive floods in the community.
Information on the water outflow from the dam will be written in layman’s terms so that it can easily be understood and allow the community to prepare ahead of time.
Also, local government units will be required to acknowledge receipt of the warning given by the authorities.
“May mga reklamo noon na hindi daw sila na inform although the Magat River Integrated Irrigation System did their best in informing them. We would like now that when they receive our warnings or any advice, we would like this to be acknowledged by them,” Visaya said.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRMMC) is also planning to create a dam safety protocol and a Committee on Dams that will monitor all dams across the country.
It is also recommending a bill that will institutionalize the Dam Safety Program of the country.
“If we now have a good enabling environment for dams, we will now be able to attract more investment,” noted Office of the Civil Defense Director Tecson John Lim.
For this initiative, the government is seeking expert advice from Engineer Roderick dela Cruz, a Filipino dam safety expert, who is based in the US where he manages around 80 dams in Southern California. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday called on concerned government agencies to make “a big push” for the recovery of agriculture “food baskets” that were devastated by calamities last year to help address supply shortages and rising food costs in the country.
In a statement, Hontiveros pointed out that price control and monitoring measures are not enough to address spiking commodity prices.
“Hindi lang price control at monitoring ang mga paraan para maampat ang mabilis na pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin. Mas mabilis na bababa ang presyo ng gulay, prutas, karne at ibang pagkain kung agad matutulungan ng pamahalaan na mapuno ang mga “food baskets”. Kailangang maibalik sa normal ang kanilang productivity levels,” she said.
The senator said the government should particularly provide adequate shelter and food assistance to vital agricultural supply areas until the first harvests arrive in summer, particularly in areas like the Northern Luzon and the Bicol Region which were heavily affected by a spate of typhoons in 2020.
Citing data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Hontiveros noted that Cagayan Valley lost P2.1 billion worth of crops due to Typhoon Ulysses, along with P 5 billion damaged or destroyed infrastructure.
Likewise, the Bicol Region lost P629 million worth of crops and P2.3 billion in infrastructure, she added.
“Sinira ng mga bagyo ang mga pananim, mga alagang hayop at mismong kabahayan ng marami sa ating mga magsasaka at agricultural workers sa Northern Luzon at Bicol Region. Pinakamataas ang inflation levels sa mga lugar na iyan, ayon mismo sa Philippine Statistics Authority at marami ang walang kita at walang makain sa pangaraw-araw ngayon,” she said.
“Kailangan natin silang tulungan para sila ay muling agad makabalik sa pagtatanim, pagsasaka at pagaalaga ng mga hayop,” she added.
Hontiveros said that among the immediate actions which can be taken by the government, mostly the Department of Agriculture (DA), National Irrigation Authority (NIA), and local government units, is the repair of drainages and irrigation systems that were damaged during the floods, storms and mudflows.
The NIA, along with LGUs, should also immediately identify and develop ‘shovel-ready’ irrigation and farm repair projects which could be implemented at the soonest.
She suggested that workers for such projects be contracted via the ‘pakyaw’ system or the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) cash-for-work program which can enable the hiring of local residents, thus helping provide a livelihood to their communities.
Hontiveros likewise said that the NDRRMC can supplement the quick reaction funds (QRFs) of other agencies so greater funding may be devoted to the repair of irrigation systems, roads, and other agriculture infrastructure.
“Kailangan nating kumilos ng agaran at malakihan upang matulungan ang mga magsasaka na nagpapakain sa buong bansa. They are the key to ending this food crisis,” she said.
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