MAIN PHOTO: Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando (inset) personally inspects the “defective” rubber gate of Bay 5 of Bustos Dam
Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando announced yesterday that foreign engineers from China are scheduled to conduct an inspection at the Bustos Dam in connection with the ongoing rehabilitation here after one of its six rubber gates collapsed and sought all six gates to be replaced.
According to the governor, the result came out just last week from Australia where it appeared that the materials used in the rubber gates failed the elongation test.
As a result, National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Administrator Ricardo Visaya favored Gov. Fernando’s request and appeal to replace the six rubber gates of the Bustos Dam, which is why the contractor’s foreign engineers will personally visit and inspect them.
“Ginagawang lahat ng lokal na pamahalaan ng nasabing lalawigan ang mas makabubuting paraan upang mapanatiling maayos at ligtas sa taumbayan ang Bustos Dam,” ayon kay Fernando.
On May 2020, the Rubber Gate Bay 5 collapsed and damaged where it was only rehabilitated in 2018 just two years after the rehabilitation where it was learned that the warranty or guaranteed life span should be last at least 20 years.
The damage was allegedly due to the inferior quality of materials used by NIA’s contractor in the said dam’s rehabilitation project.
Fernando immediately summoned the NIA members and contractor Isidro Pajarillaga of ITP Construction Inc.-Guangxi Hydro Electric Construction Bureau Co. LTD. (GHCB) consortium for them to resolve the matter where the lives of thousands of Bulakenyos were put at risk.
It was learned that one of its six rubber gates can release 500 cubic meters per second (cms) of water that can inundate most of Hagonoy and Calumpit towns and if all the six rubber gates of the dam collapses it can release a total of 3,000 cms of water that can submerge the 16 towns of the province under several feet of floodwater.
“We will never underestimate the low-quality materials used in the dam rehabilitation. Immediate replacement is needed here,” the governor said.
The Bustos Dam rehabilitation project underwent bidding in the 3rd quarter of 2016 worth P1 billion, including the concreting of the main canals.