Bulacan Representative Gavini Pancho has asked for a congressional probe to determine the government’s contingency plan to counter the negative effects of the dwindling water levels of the Angat Dam, which is a major source of water and energy in Luzon.
The National Unity Party (NUP) lawmaker said he has filed House Resolution 2118 seeking the inquiry due to mounting concern over the government’s lack of action to mitigate the steady drop in Angat Dam’s water levels.
According to weather bureau officials, heavy rains brought by tropical storm “Egay” last week helped elevate Angat Dam’s water levels from 169.33 meters to 169.48 meters, which is still below its normal water level of 212 meters.
"There has been no declaration regarding a concrete program or course of action by cognizant agencies of our national government namely, the National Irrigation Authority (NIA), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), the National Power Corporation (Napocor), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to address and mitigate the impact of the dwindling water levels of the Angat Dam," said Pancho.
Pancho’s resolution directs the House Committee on Agriculture and Food to conduct the inquiry.
He said Angat Dam’s decreasing water levels will severely affect the supply of energy to Luzon as well as Metro Manila’s domestic water supply. The Angat Dam provides 500 million of gallons per day to Luzon, which represents 97 percent of its water needs.
Farmers tilling some 27,000 hectares of farmland in Central Luzon also rely on the Angat Dam for their irrigation requirements. Pancho noted that administrators of the Angat Dam, as a matter of policy, stop water supply for irrigation in these farmlands when the dam’s water level breaches the 180-meter minimum operating mark.
"Stopping the water releases for irrigation will drastically affect the livelihood and welfare of the farmers and their families who are considered among the poorest and most vulnerable sector of our society," said Pancho.