Farmer-irrigators of the Angat-Maasim River Irrigation System (AMRIS) in Bulacan Province witnessed the strong public-private partnership and the close working relationship between the national and local government stakeholders of the Angat Dam as they accepted the  P16.5 financial assistance handed to them during the ceremony held on 15 March 2021 at the MWSS Corporate Office.

With the unfortunate events that happened last year, many farmers were already struggling due to the drought.  On the other side of the balance are the Metro Manila consumers whose drinking water allocation from Angat was reduced as the ideal 212-meter elevation for the dam to recover and replenish was not reached.

In light of the repair of the Bustos Dam in May 2020, and since the release of irrigation water from Angat dam to Bulacan farmlands can only be done until repair works are completed, MWSS requested NWRB to increase allocation for Metro Manila’s domestic use to sustain the high water demand due to COVID-19. NIA’s concurrence and NWRB’s approval of additional release to MWSS ensured continuous water availability in the service area.

In a concrete act of “Bayanihan,” the MWSS and it’s two (2) Concessionaires, Maynilad Water Services (MWSI) and Manila Water Company (MWC), approved the financial assistance to the farmers who were unable to plant during the season.  MWSI and MWC equally funded the check handed to the farmers.  The beneficiaries who belong to the Bulacan-AMRIS Federation of Irrigators Association were identified by NIA and the local government of Bulacan as those anguished farmers in dire need of monetary support.

MWSS Chairman and concurrent OIC Administrator Reynaldo Velasco said during the event, “If this story shows us anything, it is about building and supporting each other.  Instead of waning optimism as competing uses for water becomes magnified, serving and protecting each other from shocks brought about by climate change, pandemic, and other disasters presents the right kind of responses and shared responsibility of us all.