Chico River project ahead of schedule

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The P4.37-billion Chico River Pump Irrigation Project in Kalinga is running ahead of schedule, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) said.

As of the end of July, the CRPIP project management office reported an actual project accomplishment of 30.59 percent against the 23.48 percent target.

NIA said all construction works are being implemented ahead of the target schedule.

Project contractor China CAMC Engineering Co. Ltd. recently engaged the expertise of Chinese professionals, including engineers, management personnel, and highly-skilled equipment operators who were all granted working visas by the Philippine government.

“The experts are extremely necessary in the performance of highly-technical work functions, such as the construction of the tunnel and pumping station, which completion is set before the end of this year. So far, the project is ahead of schedule due to their effort and efficiency,” NIA said.

At present, CRPIP has 347 Filipino workers, mostly hired from the area. The collaboration of the Filipino workers with the Chinese experts is envisioned to complete the construction work in a shorter period of time and in a more efficient manner.

NIA and CAMCE assure that all legal requirements of the projects are strictly observed and followed.

It has a total service area of 8,700 hectares.

A total of 4,350 farmers will benefit from the project.

The project is also seen to provide 14,784 jobs during its project implementation and 8,700 permanent jobs when it becomes operational in the next three years.

It also aims to contribute 36,217 metric tons of milled rice to the country’s rice supply, incurring $15.57 million savings from rice importation and yielding an incremental income of P75,193 per hectare per year.

The project, one of the flagship projects that will get official development assistance from China, started last year.

The Chico River Irrigation Project, the first to be undertaken by the current administration, includes the construction of pump house, sub-station, transmission line, diversion main canal, lateral canals, appurtenant structures, service road, and terminal facilities for Chico River.

It covers the municipalities of Tuao and Piat in Cagayan and the municipality of Pinukpuk in Kalinga.

It was in November 2016 when NIA eyed a P42.6-billion financing from the Chinese government for several flagship irrigation projects that will be completed before the end of the administration.

The acceleration of infrastructure and development of industries yielding growth is part of the government’s 10-p­oint socioeconomic agenda envisioned to reduce poverty from 21.6 percent in 2015 to 13 to 15 percent in 2022 through infrastructure platforms.

The Build Build Build project is expected to carry on the power of redesigning the future of the country by increasing income, productive capacity of the economy, and strengthening investment climate.

NIA, as the lead government agency responsible in developing all possible sources of water for irrigation now serves as the country’s driving force to move forward to agricultural productivity, economic growth, and food sufficiency.



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