NIA head visits Magat Dam in Isabela, finds structure safe after magnitude-7 earthquake

RAMON, Isabela – Acting National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Administrator Benny Antiporda visited the Magat Dam here Tuesday, August 2, and declared the structure safe following the magnitude-7 earthquake last month.

NIA acting Administrator Benny Antiporda meets officials and technical personnel of the Magat River Integrated Irrigation System-Dam and Reservoir Division Tuesday, August 2, as part of the agency's post-earthquake evaluation on irrigation projects. (NIA photo)
Antiporda has been visiting major irrigation infrastructure in Luzon to check if they have been affected by the earthquake.

The Magat Dam is managed by the Magat River Integrated Irrigation System (MARIIS) of the NIA.

He called a meeting with the MARIIS management at the Magat Park.

The visit was meant to ensure the status of Magat Dam and its appurtenant structures and that MARIIS had performed the necessary inspection and monitoring of the dam after the earthquake.

MARIIS acting Department Manager Gileu Michael O. Dimoloy, with seven division managers, section heads, and technical team, briefed Antiporda on matters related to the Magat Dam and activities in flood forecasting and dam monitoring.

The NIA Dam and Safety Group updated Antiporda of their findings during their latest inspection of the dam.

Antiporda said he is willing to hear problems encountered by the managers of NIA offices and the recommendation of solutions necessary to solve the problems.

He assured that these matters will be immediately acted upon.

Ramon Mayor Jesus Laddaran was also in the meeting.

Antiporda said there was nothing to worry about the structural integrity of the dam built from 1975 to 1982 on the Magat River.

“Wala pong dapat ipag-alala ang atin pong mga kababayan na nasa downstream po. Wala pong earthquake related damage as of the moment (There is nothing to worry about the dam, particularly for those living downstream. The dam has no earthquake as of the moment).”

He bared that the subject of retrofitting the 39-year-old Magat Dam was also discussed.

This, Antiporda said, is not only because of the recent earthquake. “It also a pro-active measure, considering the age of the dam. The action is to save life and property,” according to Antiporda.

Retrofitting is the addition of new technology or features to older systems.

Antiporda added that NIA dams are currently under thorough inspection. He assured that the safety of the people is a top priority of the agency.