Group wants NAPOCOR, NIA held liable over water release from Luzon dams

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Cause-oriented group Infrawatch PH wants the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR), as well as the National Irrigation Authority (NIA), to be held liable for the release of water from dams in Luzon in the wake of the destruction caused by massive flooding from Typhoon Ulysses.

Infrawatch PH convenor and former Kabataan partylist Rep. Terry Ridon called for a congressional inquiry to determine who should be held accountable for what his group called a “criminal incompetence.”

NAPOCOR operates the Angat Dam in Bulacan, the Ambuklao and Binga Dams in Benguet, and the San Roque Dam in Pangasinan. Widespread flooding has been reported in Bulacan, particularly in areas near the Angat River, which flows from the Angat Dam.

NIA, which operates the Magat Dam on the Isabela-Ifugao boundary, is being blamed for releasing water by opening seven floodgates into the Magat River, which inundated many parts of Cagayan and Isabela. The Magat River is a major tributary of the Cagayan River, the country’s longest and largest river.

Ridon pointed out in particular that NIA should have released water on November 6 or 7, or four to five days before Ulysses made landfall over Luzon on November 11. The Magat Dam released water on November 9.

The former congressman added that there should be central authority that should manage the proper and timely discharge of water from dams into river systems already overburdened by heavy rains.

NAPOCOR earlier denied involvement in the flooding in Marikina City and parts of Quezon City and Rizal since none of its dams discharge water into the Marikina River.

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