After the sudden occurrence of rupture in rubber bladder no. 5 of Angat Afterbay Regulator (Bustos) Dam on May 10, 2020, series of meetings via ZOOM Application Google conferencing was hosted by the NIA Region 3 with the management of ITP Construction and officials concerned from the Construction Management Department headed by the NIA Deputy Administrator for Engineering and Operations Sector C’zar M. Sulaik to discuss the measures to be undertaken to repair/replace the broken rubber gate.

To personally view the damage of the rubber gate and at the same time to address the queries, fears and concerns of the Bulacan LGUs headed by Hon. Daniel R. Fernando, the NIA Administrator with his two Deputies visited and conducted an ocular inspection in Bustos Dam on June 09, 2020.

After the actual inspection, concerned officials held a meeting and discuss the plans and schemes of work to be undertaken to assure that the operation of the system will not be affected and hamper the delivery of irrigation water down to the tail end of its service area. Also, to mitigate the fear of Bulakenos for a possible occurrence of disaster, loss of lives and properties may happen once all of the six (6) rubber gates collapse.

It was agreed during the meeting the following measures to be undertaken:

·   All six (6) rubber gates will be replaced with no extra cost to be incurred by the government since the installed/existing gates is warranted for 20 years.

·   The gate replacement will be manufactured in China but will be tested by a neutral country like Singapore or Australia.

·   A coffer dam made of sandbags to be supported by steel piles will be constructed to replace the damaged gate to assure that the operation of the system will not be affected.

·   The cost of the construction of the cofferdam shall be shouldered by the Contractor since the rehabilitation works undertaken is not yet turned over and accepted by the NIA.

The preparations for the inspection and its success is through the joint effort by the management and staff of the Regional Office and Bulacan-Aurora-Nueva Ecija IMO.

by Eliseo V. Bitangcol