NIA Central Office – With the proposal of transferring the authority of dam water release to the National Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has started to convene with NDRRMC, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Department of Local Government (DILG), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), and National Water Resources Board (NWRB) to review existing protocol on water discharges from dams last Wednesday, November 18, 2020.
Present in the initial talk are NIA-Magat River Integrated Irrigation System (NIA-MARIIS) officials, headed by Manager Wilfredo C. Gloria to discuss further the followed Protocol on Dam Discharge and Flood Warning Operation during Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) and the current status of Magat Dam. NIA-MARIIS emphasized the communications done to different government offices, local media, and residents of Provinces of Isabela and Cagayan that may be affected of its water releases. It was also highlighted that while Magat Dam is not a flood control system, it served as one during the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses as it helped mitigate and hold water to prevent a more widespread flooding in Region II.
Furthermore, NDRRMC will review its technical capability and manpower with regards to the proposal of transfer of authority of gate opening and water releases to their office.
Strictly following the protocol on water discharge, PAGASA informed NIA-MARIIS-DRD Flood Forecasting and Warning System Dam Operations on November 9, 2020, two (2) days before the first landfall of Typhoon Ulysses, that they had commenced preparatory phase of flood operation for the Magat-FFWSDO indicating that Magat Dam is soon to release flood water due to large amount of rainfall because of Typhoon Ulysses (Form 1). After which, dam discharge warnings were activated and disseminated. This action is based on the memorandum dated December 12, 2006 stating that the release of water from Magat Dam should be decided by PAGASA.
NIA Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya assures that along with other concerned government agencies, existing protocol on dam discharges will be reviewed and will look into the possibility of transferring the authority of water releases to the NDRRMC.
**For questions and/or clarifications, you may contact:
EDEN VICTORIA C. SELVA
Acting Department Manager
NIA Public Affairs and Information Staff
Landline: (02) 8921-3741