Ensuring the safety of Angat Dam, the main source of water for Metro Manila and its environs, is the focus of the ongoing Angat Dam and Dyke Strengthening Project.

With the absence of adequate alternative source of water, damage to the dam in the event of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake will greatly impact not only on the health and well-being of the Filipinos but also on food supply, public safety and energy resource.

MWSS Administrator Reynaldo V. Velaso stressed “Because we all can’t take risks, we should always be prepared and ready when and where disaster strikes.”

The frequent occurrence of earthquakes and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology’s pronouncement on the dangers posed by the West Valley Fault prompted MWSS to initiate and sign a Memorandum of Agreement with PSALM, NPC, NIA, PHILVOLCS, PAGASA, OCD and the provincial government of Bulacan aimed at identifying, prioritizing and implementing a project that will ensure the safety and reliability of the Angat Dam and Dyke from geological and hydro-meteorological hazards.

A local fault of the West Valley Fault lies 200 meters east of the Angat Main Dyke which is located in Barangay San Lorenzo, Norzagaray, Bulacan. Movement in the West Valley Fault may affect the local fault.

This is the first time Angat Dam is undergoing a massive rehabilitation project since it was constructed in the 1960s and operationalized in 1968.

The dyke strengthening according to Velasco is very timely adding “In the business of water and water security, there must be no limit given the growing population, and, God forbid the occurrence of the Big One in our lifetime.”

Although Angat Dam is under the management of the National Power Corporation, being a multi-purpose hydro facility, it provides irrigation to 20 municipalities in Pampanga and Bulacan; supplies the domestic and industrial water requirements of residents in Metro Manila; generates hydroelectric power to feed the Luzon Grid; and reduces flooding to downstream towns and villages, as well as releases water for the MWSS through the auxiliary turbines where it is diverted to two tunnels going to the MWSS owned and operated Ipo Dam.

The ADDSP is being funded and spearheaded by the Angat Hydropower Corporation (AHC), which is co-owned by K-water and SMC Global Power through its subsidiary Power Ventures Energy Inc.  AHC acquired the Angat Hydroelectric Power Plant (AHEPP).

The Supreme Court on 09 October 2012 declared the award of the Angat Hydro-Electric Power Plant (AHEPP) to Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-Water) – now known as Angat Hydropower Corporation (AHC) – as valid and legal and the implementation of the ADDSP was handed over to K-Water.

Since contract packages 2 & 4 of ADDSP in the total cost of PhP 553.30 million remains to be the responsibility of the government, the MWSS decided to transfer the funds directly to the agency mandated to implement contract packages 2 & 4, which are the National Power Corporation (NPC) and the Provincial Government of Bulacan (PGB), respectively, as allowed by the DBM and NEDA, subject to the execution of a MOA.

The MOA between MWSS and the Provincial Government of Bulacan was signed on 22 March 2016 including the turn-over of check for the corresponding fund transfer intended to finance portion of works under the Angat River Downstream Improvement Project (ARDIP) of Bulacan while MOA between MWSS and the National Power Corporation was signed on 03 May 2016 including the turn-over of check for the corresponding transfer of funds intended to finance the Angat Dam Instrumentation.

Package 2 of the project was originally intended for MWSS to undertake. However, privatization of the Angat Hydro Electric Power Plant (AHEPP) in which K-Water was awarded the project, effected a change of responsibilities. The responsibility for implementation of the package is now with NPC.

AHC estimates that the rehabilitation project will be completed within the next two years.