Sunday, September 1, 2013

Meet Bulacan's lone water traffic enforcer

HAGONOY, Bulacan—Since the first week of August, Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Alvarado is performing an unusual task not specifically mention in his job description.

As the province’s governor, Alvarado served as the one and only water traffic enforcer.

The job is similar to traffic enforcers usually seen on the streets, except for the fact that he is not directing flow of vehicular traffic.

Instead, he has been directing water flow on rivers of the province in an attempt to reduce impacts of flooding in different towns of the Bulacan.

“Nagpatapon na naman ang Bustos Dam kahapon,”he said on the sidelines of distribution of relief goods at Barangay San Sebastian here on Saturday, August 24.

He was referring to 500 cubic meters per second water discharged by the Bustos Dam into already swelling Angat River that drains to Manila Bay..

The governor said that he had to caution operators of the dam to prevent further aggravation of flooding here and in the nearby town of Calumpit.

Both towns has been experiencing inflow of back floods from eastern Central Luzon Provinces like Nueva Ecija, and Tarlac that drains through Pampanga and Angat Rivers to Manila Bay.

Alvarado said that he has been monitoring water levels on Pampanga River and dams in Bulacan.

“Para akong traffic enforcer nito, pag hindi ko pipigilan ang pagpapatapon ng Bustos Dam lalong babahain ang Hagonoy at Calumpit,” he said.

Unlike regular traffic enforcer, the governor is not using a usual whistle to call the attention of a motorist.

Instead,he is usuing his cellular phone in calling operators of Bustos, Ipo and Angat Dams in the province.

He is also using the same cellular phone in getting updates from the Pampanga River Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (PRFFWC) which monitors the Pampanga River Basin.

Alvarado explained that both Pampanga  and Angat River contributes to flooding in Calumpit and Hagonoy towns.

However, he said that proper water management will do the trick in reducing impacts of flood in both towns.

The governor said they have also to monitor the day’s sea level rise before allowing Bustos dam in discharging water into the Angat River.

He said that if Bustos Dam operators became reckless in discharging water early last week, Hagonoy town will suffer from deeper flood because high tide level as at least 4.5 feet on Monday and Tuesday (August 19 and 20).

However, impact of flooding was reduced as Alvarado advised operators at the Bustos Dam to delay discharging higher volume of water into the Angat River that also drains to Manila Bay.

“Kailangan lang talaga ay balansehin ang pagpapadaloy ng tubig, pag pinagsabay-sabay, tiyak na malalim na baha ang ibubunga,” he said. Dino Balabo

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