Unified effort on dam safety urged

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014


NATIONAL Power Corporation president and chief executive officer Ma. Gladys Cruz-Sta. Rita recently called on large dam owners and operators for a collaborative effort to assure the safety and integrity of dams in the country.

In the Cordillera region several large dams have been operating including Ambuklao and Binga dams in Benguet and Magat Dam in parts of Ifugao and Isabela.

During the meeting and election of new officers of the Philippine National Committee on Large Dams, Sta. Rita said the presence of member organizations will clearly set the tone for a series of events to send an important message of hope to the Filipino people.

“There is a reason to be cautious and it is okay because it keeps us all on the lookout for each other. Our people’s need for the assuring hands of those who possess the expertise, the knowledge, and the dedication to the various infrastructural disciplines of our time is all the more underscored by the valid, yet oftentimes uncalled for, panic and fear amongst those who doubt the government’s capacity to prevent, if not pre-empt another tragedy,” Sta. Rita said.

“Because, in truth, though resilient and strong the Filipinos are, the country just couldn’t afford another disaster,” Sta. Rita added.

Newly elected officers of the National Committee on Large Dam include Gladys Sta. Rita of National Power Corporation, president; Claro Maranan of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), vice president 1; Gerardo Esquivel of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), vice president 2; Emmanuel Rubio of SN Aboitiz, which operates two dams in Benguet, and Joseph Sulivan of CE Casecnan Water and Energy Company, secretaries; and Angel Santiago Jr. of Engineering and Development Corporation of the Philippines (EDCOP) and Andres Ibarra of Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), advisers.

NPC which manages 17 dams in the country also presented to the body its revised 2013 NPC Dam Safety Program which highlighted the recent developments in international dam safety standards, practices and guidelines.

The 2013 Dam Safety Program provides the framework for managing safety throughout the life of a dam and for preserving the long term value of NPC dams, reservoirs and waterways.

PNCOLD, established in 1958 is a non-profit organization tasked to disseminate information on the proceedings and documents related to modern trends in dam engineering, construction, operation and maintenance of dams to ensure the safety of the public.

The organization is a member of the International Committee on Large Dams which leads in setting the standards and guidelines to guarantee dams are built and operated safely, efficiently, economically and environment friendly.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 26, 2014.

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