APPEAL. Bulacan Governor Daniel R. Fernando on Friday (Oct. 7, 2022) appealed to the contractors of Bustos Dam to change not only the damaged but all six rubber gates with brand new and superior materials. The rubber gate at Bay 5 of Bustos Dam collapsed in June 2020, allegedly due to the inferior quality of materials used by the contractors in the rehabilitation of the dam. (PNA file photo) 

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan – Governor Daniel R. Fernando has appealed to the contractors of Bustos Dam to change not only the damaged part but all six rubber gates with brand new and superior materials.

The rubber gate at Bay 5 of Bustos Dam collapsed in June 2020 allegedly due to the inferior quality of materials used by the contractors in the rehabilitation of the dam.

Dapat lamang palitan ang lahat ng rubber gate sapagkat hindi nasunod ang specification ayon sa napagkasunduang materyales tulad ng nakasaad sa kontrata ng National Irrigation Administration (All the rubber gates must be replaced because the specification was not followed based on the agreement, such as the materials used as stated in the contract of the NIA)," Fernando said in a statement on Friday.

He also said when the rubber bladders failed, it further proved that the materials used were indeed substandard and inadequate.

He earlier warned the contractors, ITP Construction, Inc. and Gaungxi Hydroelectric Construction Bureau Co. Ltd., to act on his demand letter within 10 days or face civil and criminal cases.

The governor sent to the contractors the demand letter on September 29, asking them to immediately repair the damaged rubber bladder at the Bay 5 of Bustos Dam, which happened only a year after its rehabilitation and while the contract is still under warranty.

Fernando said the contractors have been ignoring the countless follow-ups and demand letters sent by the NIA, in close coordination with the provincial government.

Hindi po ako titigil hangga’t hindi natitiyak ang mga maliwanag at konkretong hakbang upang mabilisan at permanenteng masolusyunan ang problema na ito. Gusto kong makatiyak na ang Bustos Dam, at ang lahat ng ating dam sa lalawigan ay nakatutugon sa mahigpit na pamantayan ng kaligtasan (I will not stop until there are clear and concrete steps for a speedy and permanent solution to the problem. I want to make sure that Bustos Dam and all dams in the province conform with the strict safety standards),” he said.

Fernando tagged the situation as “an accident waiting to happen”, considering that studies and reports showed that thousands of lives and billions of pesos are at stake.

Bustos Dam was built in 1926 with a service area of 25,000 hectares. (PNA)