Government fast-tracks P30 billion irrigation projects nationwide

Louisse Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - February 18, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The government will accelerate close to P30-billion worth of big-ticket irrigation projects in the country.

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) said three major irrigation projects are being fasttracked. These include the P13.37-billion Tarlac Balog-Balog multipurpose project, P11.2-billion Jalaur

River multipurpose project in Iloilo, and the P4.37-billion Chico River pump irrigation project in Kalinga.

The Balog-Balog project is expected to provide year-round irrigation to approximately 34,410 hectares of agricultural land in 10 municipalities in Tarlac, benefitting some 23,000 farmers and their families.

As a multipurpose dam, the hydropower project within the facility can generate at least 43.5 megawatts of electricity. The high dam can also store up to 560 million cubic meters which can increase the cropping intensity in the project area from 124 percent to 200 percent. On the other hand, the construction of the P11.2-billion Jalaur project, the largest irrigation project outside of Luzon, had an actual physical accomplishment of 42 percent as of end-2020. Jalaur is NIA’s eighth big ticket project under the Build Build Build program and the second irrigation project funded by the Korean government through the Korea Export- Import Bank.

The project includes the construction of three dams, including a 109-meter hig dam, a 38-meter afterbay dam across the Jalaur River, and a catch dam in Alibunan River.An 80-kilometer high line canal will also be constructed to deliver irrigation water from the dams to the rice paddies.

The project is expected to provide year round irrigation water to 9,500 hectares of new irrigable areas and rehabilitation of 22,340 hectares covered by five existing irrigation systems in 23 municipalities and two cities in Iloilo. It is expected to benefit 22,000 farmers and provide 17,000 employment opportunities during the project implementation.

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