August 28, 2004
STOP SAN ROQUE
DAM TO CONTROL FLOODING IN PANGASINAN
“There is no better way than to stop the operation of the dam!”
This is the statement of Joan Carling, Chairperson of Cordillera Peoples
Alliance, after the San Roque Dam released water three times since August
26 flooding 25 towns and three cities of Pangasinan.
According to DSWD two gates were opened the first time it released water
in August 26. Yesterday, at 9 o’ clock in the morning, the dam opened
6 gates releasing 6 meters of water and at 3 o’ clock in the afternoon,
10 meters more of water was released when it opened 4 of its gates.
“The San Roque Dam failed to control flood which is supposed to
be one of its functions. In fact, flooding in Pangasinan has worsened
since the operation of San Roque Dam started, causing more damages to
farmers and fishermen. This is adding more misery to those already been
victimized by the dam construction, many of whom remain not properly compensated
to this day,” said Carling.
A report from National Disaster Coordinating Council said that the flood
had cost Pangasinan P17, 285, 930 damages to its crops, properties and
fisheries. Carling added that the San Roque Power Corporation (SRPC) should
be held responsible to the damages it has caused to the people of Pangasinan.
SRD is the one being pointed at by the officials of the flooded areas
to be the main root of what is being described as the highest flood Pangasinan
has experienced since 1972.
Carling emphasized that this gigantic dam project is not just disastrous
but also a big financial burden that the government is paying through
the people’s money. The monthly payment given to the San Roque Power
Corporation ranges from US $ 11,000 to US $ 16,000 monthly since its operation
and the power generated is not optimized because of lack of transmission
lines. She also claimed that catastrophic projects like this are partly
to blame for the fiscal crisis of the country today.
Carling asserted that with these reasons, we should immediately put a
stop to the current operation of the dam. We should never pay to a disaster
causing dam like the San Roque Dam and the San Roque Power Corporation
should be made accountable to the flooding of Pangasinan. # PUBLIC INFORMATION
COMMISSION-CORDILLERA PEOPLES ALLIANCE
More news on the Pangasinan floods
Flood-stricken residents in Central Pangasinan and all the towns near
the Agno River blamed authorities of the San Roque Dam for the sudden
rise of floodwaters.
Edgar Nigel Lontoc, RDCC regional director, said 25 towns in Pangasinan
and the cities of Urdaneta, Dagupan and San Carlos were flooded and that
10 towns in La Union were still underwater.
Lontoc said the dam, which holds water released from the Binga and Ambuklao
Dams, opened six gates on Thursday and released at least 10 meters wide
of excess water flowing directly to the Agno River.
Lontoc said the water released by San Roque swelled the Agno River, causing
floods in most towns of Pangasinan.
Susan Espinueva, a senior weather specialist of the Philippine Atmospheric,
Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, said the San Roque
Dam had to release water because the water was six meters higher than
the spilling level of 280m.
The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) reported on Friday
that at least 342 barangays in 28 towns and two cities in Pangasinan are
still under water. A total of 29,158 families comprising 158,999 persons
The NDCC said that the San Roque Dam reached its critical level, forcing
authorities to open its gates. The water released from the dam flowed
into the Agno River, which caused floods in the areas.
Two portions of the dike on Amburayan River in barangay Maria Cristina
East and West and Consuegra in Bangar, La Union, collapsed owing to strong
current, the NDCC said
In Pangasinan alone, the NDCC said damage to crops, property and fishery
was estimated at P17, 285, 930.
The number of affected families rose to 61,576 from Thursday’s
12,000, which is composed of at least 315,518 persons.
Thus declared the provincial board yesterday, noting that floods in 38
towns and cities have damaged, based on initial estimates, P15.729 million
worth of fishery stocks and P1.139 million of agricultural crops.#