GATES in three dams in Luzon were opened on Thursday following heavy downpour from typhoon Ulysses (international name: Vamco). Angat Dam in Bulacan, the main water source for Metro Manila, exceeded spilling level prompting the release of 65 cubic meters per second of water, according to the National Power Corp. (Napocor). “Due to the release of water, the water level and flow in Angat River is expected to rise,” Napocor warned. As of Thursday morning, Angat’s elevation was at 211.30 meters, higher than its spilling level of 210 meters. The Ipo Dam, also located in Bulacan, opened its four gates after its elevation reached 101.20 meters, above the spilling level of 101 meters. In a separate advisory, weather bureau PAGASA announced that Magat Dam in Isabela opened three of its gates, at five meters each, to reduce the water elevation, which stood at 190.70 meters. Magat’s spilling level is at 193 meters. Meanwhile, east zone water concessionaire Manila Water Co., Inc. confirmed that La Mesa Dam in Quezon City reached its spilling level of 80.15 meters as of Thursday morning. “As of 12 noon, La Mesa Dam’s level is at 80.22 meters and has been spilling since 9:20 a.m.,” Manila Water Corporate Strategic Affairs Head Nestor Jeric T. Sevilla said in a mobile phone message. In another advisory, PAGASA said the two dams in Benguet — Binga Dam in Itogon and Ambuklao Dam in Bokod — have also released water. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave
Typhoon Ulysses affects over 1.9 million Meralco customers
MORE THAN 1.9 million customers in Luzon under distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) were still without power supply on Thursday afternoon as typhoon Ulysses (international name: Vamco) battered the northern part of the country. The affected Meralco franchise areas include Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, and Batangas. Meralco Spokesperson Joe R. Zaldarriaga, in a press briefing on Thursday afternoon, said the utility giant is slowly restoring electricity service where possible, but it may take some time to repair facilities in areas that were flooded. In a separate advisory, the Department of Energy (DoE) reported that an ongoing assessment by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) initially showed that provinces experiencing full or partial power cuts include Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Pampanga.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), meanwhile, said 32 transmission lines in Luzon were unavailable as of Thursday afternoon. NGCP said while transmission services may be fully restored in the coming days, distribution systems may take longer to repair. There were about 13 Luzon generating facilities affected, with a combined output of about 4,231.8 megawatts. Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, in a statement, assured that the entire energy sector has been mobilized to immediately restore services. “[The DoE-led] Task Force on Energy Resiliency is working round-the-clock to coordinate the efforts of all our industry players, who remain on their toes and at the ready,” Mr. Cusi said. — Angelica Y. Yang
Renovated Bantayan airport to receive maiden flight as Cebu prepares for tourism revival
THE renovated Bantayan Island Airport in northern Cebu will receive its first commercial flight on Nov. 27 as the Cebu provincial government ramps up its promotional campaign in preparation for the reopening of tourist destinations. The Cebu Pacific flight, using an 80-seater aircraft, will be a 30-minute ride from the Mactan Cebu International Airport at the central-eastern side of the province. The passengers will consist of a group participating in the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo, the Cebu provincial government’s packaged tours program covering different areas. Bantayan has been a popular tourist destination for its beaches and dive sites. “I’m sure all Bantayanons, Lawisnons and Santafehanons will be very, very proud on that day,” Governor Gwendolyn F. Garcia said in a statement. The Bantayan Airport was rehabilitated and expanded through a partnership between the Cebu government and the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority. Leisure travel around Cebu has been reopened for locals, but regular flights to Bantayan has yet to be announced as the the airport’s official soft opening is still being finalized.
Survey set for Davao MSMEs on coronavirus impact, recovery plan
MICRO, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Davao Region will be surveyed in the third week of November to determine the actual impact of the coronavirus crisis on their operations, and use the results to identify specific programs for recovery. The survey will be conducted by the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc., together with the Davao regional offices of the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry, Commission on Higher Education, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology-Mindanao Cluster 3 under the Davao Regional Inclusive Innovation Center. The Davao chamber, in a statement on Thursday, said the survey is part of the Innovation for Business Recovery plan initiated by USAID Science, Technology, Research, and Innovation for Development (USAID-STRIDE). After the survey, sessions on rapids needs assessment and suggestive next steps will be conducted by University of the Philippines-Mindanao School of Management for participating firms and research partners “to further understand the current situation of MSMEs, identify their priorities, and assist them in accessing specific innovation programs.”