Class suit vs San Roque dam likely

FOR  DAGUPAN  FLOODs

Exec admits 20% of water from dam flows here

Whether the San Roque Multi-Purpose Project indeed causes the flooding in Dagupan City, will soon be determined if and when the city government files a class suit against it.

The prospect of a class suit arose when an official of the project unwittingly admitted to the city council that the released water from the dam is contributing twenty per cent of the water that is flooding Dagupan.

In this regard, Councilor Farah Decano said she would ask the city legal office to file a class suit.
Citing statistics from his office, Ramon Verza, operations officer of SRMP, admitted that at least 20 per cent of its released water from the dam flows down to Dagupan causes the floods.

“Twenty per cent lang  po ang nangagaling sa San Roque,” (Only 20 per cent comes from San Roque), Verza told the city council during a committee hearing presided over by Councilor  Vladimir Mata.

Verza’s revelation differed from past official statements of other officials of SRMP who insisted that the water from the San Roque dam has not and never contributed to the floods in Dagupan. Citing the distance of Agno River from the city, the SRMP has maintained that the flood waters in the city did not come from the dam.

The floods have resulted in loss of millions of pesos in infrastructures and properties in the city.

This time, Verza admitted that the 20 per cent of water that reach Dagupan is the excess of the big volume being released to the Agno River.

Verza, however, quickly pointed out that it is the National Power Corporation (Napocor) that controls the release of water each time from the dam, clarifying, that SRMP simply acts on the orders of Napocor.

Verza was invited to explain SRMP’s capacity to hold water after the city council expressed fears that Dagupan could suffer more flooding on account of the expected La Niña phenomenon by the middle part of 2006.

Councilor Decano, a lawyer, asked Verza if the corporation is complying with the international standards and the latter responded in the positive and went on to say SMRP constantly monitors the behavior and performance of the dam.

He said they issue warnings four hours before opening the dam’s gates to warn communities.

Vice Mayor Alvin Fernandez had advised that SRMP and NPC should continue to hold a dialogue to determine solutions to the hazards posed by the releasing of water from the dam many towns in Pangasinan, including Dagupan and affecting Tarlac.

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