CITY OF MALOLOS: An ultimatum of 10 days to act on his demand letter was given by Bulacan Gov. Daniel Fernando to the contractors of the damaged rubber bladder of the Angat Afterbay Regulation Dam or Bustos Dam or face a civil and criminal case. “We must act now. We demand the immediate removal and replacement of all six gates under the contract for Bustos Dam. I will not hesitate to file civil and criminal cases to everyone involved,” the governor said during his privilege speech in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) regular session held at the Benigno Aquino Sr. Session Hall at the Capitol Building in Malolos City on Thursday, September 29. He also challenged the members of the SP headed by its presiding officer, Vice Gov. Alexis Castro, to investigate the matter. This is after ITP Construction Inc. and Guangxi Hydroelectric Construction Bureau Co. Ltd. failed to repair the damaged rubber bladder at the Bay 5 of Bustos Dam, which occurred only a year after its rehabilitation and while the contract is still under warranty. The governor said that the contractors have been ignoring the countless follow-ups and demand letters sent to them by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) in close coordination with the Bulacan provincial government. Fernando also called out the NIA to take responsibility for the delay in the repair of the damaged rubber gate which could impact 15,706 hectares of rice and vegetable area with 12,904 farmers with an estimated loss of P880,964,445 to P2,690,255,147 to the agriculture sector, and could negatively affect 80 villages from two provinces with an expected loss of thousands of lives once it collapses. In June 2020, the rubber gate at Bay 5 of Bustos Dam collapsed allegedly due to the inferior quality of materials used by the contractor in the rehabilitation of the said dam. In addition, while the governor is in favor of the benefits that will be brought to the farmers of Bulacan through the construction of the Bayabas Dam, he asked the NIA to communicate to him the specifics of the project.