San Roque Dam

Satellite image of San Roque Dam under construction in San Manuel, Pangasinan.

Update: June 21, 2006. The new imagery from Google Earth has now arrived in Google Maps. This means you can no longer see the dam under construction in Google Maps.

While not as provocative as the destruction of Porta Farm in Zimbabwe or as heartbreaking as the devastation of the tsunami in Banda Aceh, we can still have relevant before-and-after comparisons of places here in the Philippines.

The San Roque Dam in San Manuel, Pangasinan is the controversial public works project which aimed to dam the Agno River to provide 345 MW of hydroelectric power, to prevent flooding, and to provide irrigation to tens of thousands of hectares of agricultural land.

The indigenous Ibaloi people, who live upstream of the dam in Itogon, Benguet have been fiercely opposed to the project. The dam, they said, would disrupt their communities, inundate sacred sites, and force resettlement of hundreds of families who were already disturbed with the construction of Ambuklao and Binga Dams in 1954 and 1961 respectively. Nevertheless, the project was completed in 2002 and a reservoir now stands on the Agno River basin. See the official website of San Roque Dam or the Wikipedia article.

The picture below shows the San Roque Dam and reservoir area during the dam’s construction (left half, around 2000) and after the reservoir has been filled (right half, around 2004). These images are possible because of Google Earth’s imagery update last week. There is an interval between when the imagery is introduced to Google Earth and when the same imagery is updated in Google Maps, so using Google’s products, we get to see before and after images of sites in the Philippines.

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Posted on
June 14, 2006
Filed under
DamsIlocandia and Pangasinan
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  1. ciryl anselmo wrote on December 11, 2008 @ 07:12AM

    sana maimprove p toh>…..
    pra marami pa kming ma gain na knowledge

  2. alfa wrote on January 16, 2009 @ 08:07AM

    is it true that the location of this dam is in the fault line?

  3. roby wrote on March 4, 2009 @ 02:21PM

    I’ve been to this dam way back 2004, it is beautiful, bigger than any dam here in the philippines. It was so scary going down in their office, taking the elevator going down was so creepy…but nice experience…

  4. maning wrote on October 7, 2009 @ 02:08AM

    Thank you for this eaugene. I’ve been looking for dam locations since last night. Your San Roque entry saved my day.

    Just curious what is that water reservoir north of the dam? I’m thinking it’s a mining pond from the open pit mines on the west.

  5. nana wrote on October 14, 2009 @ 05:01AM

    walang maayos n flood way…

  6. metrogil wrote on October 15, 2009 @ 02:55PM


    I don’t know of other anselmo’s other than my family. Saan ang origin ng family mo?

  7. metrogil wrote on October 15, 2009 @ 03:06PM


    Just in case you see this post, you can reply to

  8. mac wrote on July 28, 2010 @ 02:18PM

    one of the best dam in asia

  9. don king peregrino wrote on January 8, 2011 @ 09:18PM

    the dam faces south. for your information, the location of the dam has no fault line. the dam is an earth fill dam, it can carry 825 million cubic meters which means, the dam itself can hold the water coming from binga dam and ambuklao dam, both can only hold 200 million cubic meters. there are four main reason why this dam was constructed. water quality, flood control, power generation and irrigation.

  10. Kerry wrote on March 7, 2011 @ 04:11AM

    The technology this days actually allows us to see beyond what the media is feeding us.We can now see from the comfort of our own homes the entire world.And adding to this we have the chance to see if the constructions that humanity is making has an real effect to the ecosystem.

  11. sam wrote on March 19, 2011 @ 08:24PM

    im not exagerated about what happen on calamity happen in japan,but we should be vigilant if the dams is constructed in quality,is their any early warning made by authorities like what happen during pepeng,who should be responsible in the damage done by this dams?

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