Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bulacan light house repair underway

SMP members and Pugad officials
HAGONOY, Bulacan—Repair of the 80-year old lighthouse in this coastal town of Bulacan is expected to be completed before Christmas.

This came after old equipment of the solar power lighthouse were pulled down last week and are being analyzed by technicians and electrical engineers of the Sigla Movement of the Philippines (SMP), the non-government organization that vowed to lead the repair.

Grossman Dax Uy, chair of the SMP-Bulacan chapter told the STAR yesterday that they are planning to inaugurate the lighthouse before December 15.

“We are hopeful that we can install it back by December 15,” Uy said.

He said that a week after they visited the lighthouse on November 24, a team of technicians and electrical engineers climbed the lighthouse and pulled the old equipment with the help of residents and officials of Barangay Pugad.

He said that all equipment are being analyzed and noted that the lighthouse’s lamp changer flasher, day light control and light bulb needs to be replaced.

The lighthouse’s electrical cables and other connectors also needs replacement.

With regards to the solar panel and solar batteries, he said that both are still being analyzed by technicians.

“We are hoping that some parts can still be used but we already placed an order for parts that will be replaced,” Uy said.

Standing on the mouth of the Hagonoy river fronting the Manila Bay, the 80 year old lighthouse served as guide for fishermen at night.

Local residents said that in the 60’s it is lighted by an alcohol powered lamp, and when electricity reached the coastal village in the late 70s, the lighthouse’s was lighted by electric powered lamp.

However, during typhoons, the lighthouse usually fail to function as strong winds used to cut power line to the lighthouse.

In the late 90s, officials decided to upgrade the lighthouse with solar powered lamps.

However, the solar powered batteries of the lighthouse expired seven years ago and since then, fishermen in Manila Bay lost their guide at night.
SMP members and Pugad officials

Last year, Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Alvarado took notice of the lighthouse after a local newspaper published as story and picture of it.

Alvarado submitted a proposal to the Central Luzon Regional Development Council for the repair and it was approved in October last year.

The RDC endorsed to Malacanang the repair of the lighthouse along with the construction of additional lighthouse along the coast of the Manila Bay.

But more than a year after, nothing has been done until SMP took the initiative last November.  (Dino Balabo)