Wednesday, October 14, 2009

CHIZ CONSIDERS CLASS ACTION SUIT AGAINST DAM OPERATORS

After what happened during the floodings in Metro Manila during Typhoon Ondoy, I heard so many news on what is the possible cause of these terrible floodings. I also talked to some of my friends who were affected and got some evidence on my theory on why did these happened.

I am not really sure if I am right, but as a concerned citizen I tried to to check on the possibility to bring my concern to some of my trusted public officials. I sent e-mails to several of them, but only one of them replied to my e-mail with a solid solution and action. I don't know if the other officials read my e-mail, or if they did not pay any attention, or if they are doing their actions in silence.

Here is the reply of Senator Chiz Escudero and his staff:

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Dear Axel,

thank you for your email regarding Ondoy and the flooding dure to the release of water from dams.

may we furnish you a copy of the stand of Senator Escudero on the matter

OFFICE OF SENATOR CHIZ ESCUDERO

PRESS RELEASE

Date: 12 October 2009


Refer to: Judee Aguilar/5526601 loc.6540/09178294010

Website: http://www.chizinthenews.com

CHIZ CONSIDERS CLASS ACTION SUIT

AGAINST DAM OPERATORS

Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero is mulling on filing a class action suit against private operators of dams across Luzon for failing to adequately warn residents about releasing massive volumes of water, killing hundreds of people and damaging property because of the devastating floods.

He said that under the law, operators are legally liable for any negligence on their part. He said that if dam operators can be sued for deaths or injuries incurred by their disregard for safety. “In extreme cases, they can even be criminally liable. Any complainant may also add reckless imprudence to the class action suit,” he said.

Escudero pointed out the private operator of San Roque dam, two days before Pepeng made landfall in the province, was telling the public that they can absorb all the rain the typhoon can bring.

The maximum capacity of the dikes in the area was 4,000 cubic meters per second only. At the height of the typhoon, 5,361 cubic meters per second or about 5.361 million liters of water were released into towns and villages. This is equivalent to 380 million liters of water per minute or 19 billion liters of water per hour.

“In the span of 10 hours, 190 billion liters of water were released by the San Roque dam. This is the exact reason why the dikes along Agno River gave way and overflowed. What is ironic and more annoying about this is the head of the Agno River flood control project was also begging to be rescued after being trapped in the roof of his office,” he said.

He said that dam officials should have foreseen the large volumes of rain of Pepeng and opened its flood gates way before the water reached the maximum level. The senator explained that the reservoir of the dam was at 290 meters above sea level (masl).

“The only time San Roque released its waters was at its critical point of 288 (masl). If only they started releasing water at 230 (masl) the floods could have been avoided or at least controlled. It also begs the question, what is the standard operating procedure of releasing waters by dams?” he said.

Aside from San Roque, Escudero also wants to review the procedures of Binga, Pantabangan, and Angat dams. “Although I admit that no one wanted the tragedy to happen, dam officials appear to have lacked in preparation and knowledge in dealing with typhoons,” he said.

He said that that the dam operators were given sovereign guarantee by the government which enabled them to build, lend, and sell the electricity produced through hydro-electricity. He said that developers and local government units could also face fines or be sued in court for allowing housing projects along the river beds. “Who allowed the construction of these houses?” he asked.

Escudero made all these assessments following his visit to Pangasinan on Sunday. He visited the towns of Rosales, San Nicolas, Tayug, Asingan, and Villasis.

He said that in San Nicolas, 18 barangays were cut off from main thoroughfares after a bridge collapsed. He added that even the municipal offices of Asingan and Villasis were flooded.

“There is P1 billion allocated for the alarm system of the dams. I want to see why only P300 million was spent and why the money released for the system was not used for its operation and maintenance,” he said.




--
On behalf of Senator Chiz Escudero
Rolando P. Tan
Chief of Staff

10 comments:

Ed. E. said...

digs ka talaga tol, paemail-email ka na lang ke chiz ngaun! nicely done! =D

Traveliztera said...

wow... proud of u for making all these efforts ... email mode a ;D

Axel said...

@Ed E. > ahahaha, nabahala lang din kasi talaga ako sa nangyari eh.. Sinubukan ko lang din kung may magrereply at meron nga.. Yung iba hindi nagreply eh..

@Traveliztera > ahahaha... feeling close... lolz... Baka kahit papano makatulong ako sa mga tao sa ginawa ko...

r u s s said...

.. two thumbs up for what you did. I'm glad that at least one of them replied to you. Sana talaga may magawa ang mga nasa gobyerno para mabigyan ng solusyon yong naging problema na ito.

Axel said...

@Russ >> thanks, pero wala naman ako masyadong ginawa... Baka naisip na rin naman nila yun ng ginawa ko yun..

I hope things would turn out better after this... Sana hindi laging ganito; na kapag may nangyaring sakuna tsaka lang pagtutuunan ng pansin...

Traveliztera said...

hahaha big thing ung gnawa mo noh... iba na tlg si axel hehe


next mission:maja haha

BlogusVox said...

You have done your duty as a responsible citizen. I hope Escudero will do his part!

Axel said...

@Traveliztera >> ahahaha, iba ka naman dyan... Final Mission si Maja...

@BlogusVox >> yah! I hope we all can give our part... thanks...

Abou said...

saludo ako sa yo!

Axel said...

@Abou >> salamat parekoy...