The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) is planning to create a new committee that will supervise the release of water in the dams amid reports that the alleged ill timing in the release of waters from Magat Dam resulted in the massive flooding in Cagayan and Isabela provinces during the onslaught of typhoon ‘Ulysses’.
NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad said the committee will be tasked to ensure that all the safety measures are in place before release of the water from the dam is allowed.
“There was a decision in the NDRRMC to have a committee, a dam safety committee. It will supervise the opening of gates of the dams during weather disturbances,” said Jalad.
The Manila Bulletin, however, learned that there was already an existing protocol before dams would release water.
Sources at the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said that the local offices of the NDRRMC are being informed of the release of waters from the dam, either through letter or verbal notice, a day or several hours before the opening of the gates.
Two weeks ago, the Office of Civil Defense said the release of waters in the dam is inevitable since failure to do so would may cause the dam to break and eventually result in a catastrophe.
Jalad said the new committee will oversee both the PAGASA, the National Irrigation Administration and the National Power Corporation.
The involvement of the new committee, however, is mostly on the coordination side.