Napocor and San Roque Power Plant Corp.: Culprits in 2009 flood

October 31, 2010 at 7:15 pm Leave a comment


The government’s effort in preparing for the ill-effects and devastation of the entry of super typhoon “Juan” in northern Luzon has paid-off.

It was a concerted effort of all government agencies particularly the Philippine Astronomical and Geophysical Services Administration (Pag-asa), National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), Department of National Defense (DND) and the local government units (LGUs).

It proved that when government agencies will really work and prepare, casualties will be minimized and rescue operations will be carried out efficiently and effectively.

I commend them for a job well done.

In Pangasinan, typhoon “ Juan “ has also caused tremendous damages particularly to agricultural crops and properties. The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) has indeed been prepared for whatever damages caused by the typhoon.

The volume of rain water was so enormous that caused flooding in various municipalities such as Bugallon, Labrador, Umingan, Dagupan City and San Fabian.

Flood this time was not caused by the San Roque Multipurpose Dam as it did not release a single drop of water to the Agno River and its tributaries.

Compared to typhoon “Pepeng” last year which caused massive flooding in many towns in Pangasinan, the volume of rain water dropped by typhoon “Juan” was even double and yet the management of San Roque Multipurpose Dam was not that frantic in releasing water. This just proves that the flood of 2009 was due to management error committed by the National Power Corporation (Napocor) and caused tremendous damage to properties.

When I was monitoring over Bombo Radyo Dagupan the situation of typhoon “Juan”, anchor Audrey Hidalgo was able to interview Tom Valdez, Vice President for Community Relations of San Roque Power Plant, who said that the dam’s water level was only 253 meters which was still 27 meters away from its critical level of 280 meters. That was it! That level was not yet the time to release the dam’s water and have to wait until the critical level is reached.

In October 2009 flood, it was different. Napocor and San Roque Power Plant Corporation (SRPPC) indiscriminately released the water of the dam by almost 6,000 cubic meters per second.

I just could not comprehend now why they had to do that last year when they could do otherwise like what happened now during the height of typhoon “Juan.” Maybe they could reason out that the situation during typhoon “Pepeng” in 2009 is different with that of typhoon “Juan.”

Yes it was! But typhoon “Juan” was a super typhoon which placed Pangasinan under signal no.3. In 2009, Pangasinan was only in signal no. 1 and did not experience that heavy downpour like that of typhoon “Juan.”

I think, Napocor and SRPPC should accept the fact now that they made a mistake in 2009 and stop passing the buck and issue alibis. Now it can be told that Napocor and SRPPC were the culprits of the flood in 2009. Period!

Now let’s look back what happened in typhoon “Juan”.

The towns of Bugallon and Umingan were heavily flooded. The flood was not due to water coming from rivers and creeks but due to flashflood and landslide from the mountains.

The bald mountains in these areas could no longer sustain the heavy downpour. There were no trees to avert the landslides and flashflood, thus the residents there had to scamper for safety. How many times has government told the people to plant trees?

How many reforestation activities must been done by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)? But those programs have not been heeded by the people. They kept on raping the forests in the mountains and blame the government for the miseries they themselves were the perpetrators of.

We have to wake up to realities. Unless we value our environment, calamities and tragedies will always be parts of our lives.

(for comments, email me a emperorvirgil@yahoo.com)

Entry filed under: News.

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