By Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 9, 2017 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The National Power Corp. (Napocor) has started a series of information, education and communication (IEC) campaigns in Bulacan, Benguet, Pangasinan and Laguna to ensure the safety of communities near its five dams.
The state-run firm will hold 20 sessions of IEC campaigns in communities nearby Angat, Ambuklao, Binga, San Roque and Caliraya dams.
It said the campaigns also give emphasis on the Flood Forecasting and Warning System for Dam Operations (FFWSDO), a program of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) which was created to provide real-time, telemetered information for the safe and optimum operation of the dams.
The system is also used to forewarn people of the water release from spillways during typhoons or heavy rains.
Napocor’s Dams Management Department said the FFWSDO includes discussion on the location and purposes of warning stations, rain gauges and other instrumentations; notification process during water discharge, flood propagation time, and the distinct roles of Napocor and Pagasa.
“Napocor’s role in FFWSDO is the proper management of the reservoir to optimize water utilization and timing of water release while Pagasa does the forecast of how much water will add to the water level of the rivers downstream,” Napocor said.
The Angat Dam supports the operation of the 218-megawatt (MW) Angat hydropower plant now owned by the Angat Hydropower Corp. while the Ambuklao and Binga dam supports the 105-MW Ambuklao and 140-MW Binga hydroelectric power plants which are now under the management of SN Aboitiz.
The San Roque Dam supports the 435 MW San Roque power plant which is operated by the San Roque Power Corp. while the Caliraya dam supports the 22.6 MW Caliraya power plant and the 700 MW Kalayaan pumped storage power plant which are operated by CBK Power Co. Ltd.
Although the power plants that these dams support were privatized (except for San Roque and Caliraya-Kalayaan power plants), Napocor and Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corp. oversee the operation and management of the non-power components of these power plants including the dams as per the operations and maintenance agreement entered into by Napocor, PSALM and the private power plants operators.
On top of its IEC campaigns, Napocor’s DMD also conducts mandatory safety inspection and assessments of the said dams to confirm their satisfactory behavior and condition. It also undertakes efficient reservoir management to these five dams in Luzon.