BUSTOS, Bulacan -— President Benigno C. Aquino III on Friday led the groundbreaking and launching of two major water management projects that will not only solve water shortage but will also help address the flood problem in Bulacan.
Accompanied by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, National Irrigation Administration (NIA) administrator Florencio Padernal, the Chief Executive made a short inspection of the Bustos Dam, also known as the Angat Dam afterbay regulator dam, in Barangay Tibagan here.
The President led the launching of the rehabilitation of Bustos Dam via the ceremonial switching on of a mini-model of the dam on where water begins to flow to the delight of the crowd composed of farmers and irrigators.
“Tinapos na ng daang matuwid ang problema sa tubig ng lalawigan ng Bulacan. Sisimulan na ngayon ang rehabilitasyon ng Bustos dam para lalo itong maging matibay at mas maraming magsasaka ang matulungan,” Mr. Aquino said in his message at the Bustos Dam clubhouse.
The government has allotted to the NIA Php1 billion for the rehabilitation of the dam which was built in 1927.
The President said it will be completed in August 2017 with new rubber gates with sprinkles to make it more durable against the heat and other elements.
The President was also briefed by Gov. Alvarado that the gates of the Bustos Dam are already brittle that during typhoon season, its operators have to open some of its gates, causing severe flooding in the coastal towns of Calumpit and Hagonoy.
Alvarado thanked President Aquino for his quick response to the water problems besetting Bulacan.
He said that aside from the rehabilitation of Bustos Dam, the repair and strengthening of the aging Angat Dam in Norzagaray town is also underway.
The governor also said that Bulo dam, which was damaged by typhoon three years ago is also being rehabilitated.
Likewise, Alvarado said that the Regional Development Council in Central Luzon has submitted a feasibility study on the construction of mini reservoirs in the Candaba swamp area to hold the water for commercial use, which usually just go down the drain to Manila bay after wrecking havoc at the catch basin towns of Hagonoy and Calumpit during typhoon season.
The governor also asked the President to revive the mothballed Pampanga River Control System, whose primary function is to dredge major rivers in Bulacan and Pampanga as part of the solution to the flood problem.
Before proceeding to the launching of the rehabilitation of Bustos dam, President Aquino earlier led the groundbreaking of the Bulacan Bulk Water Supply Project in Barangay San Manuel in the City of San Jose del Monte.
The President said that for almost 50 years, the people of Bulacan were just watching their supply of fresh water go to Metro Manila while they get their supply underground.
Gov. Alvarado said that in behalf of the three million Bulakenyos, the province of Bulacan is thankful and grateful to President Aquino because now, fresh supply of surface water will soon flow to every home of the people of Bulacan through the BBWSP.
He said that administration of President Aquino has already started the project to mitigate the effects of climate change.
From Bustos, the President proceeded to Meycauayan City to meet with local and community leaders. Emil Gamos/PNA/northboundasia.com