PGMA orders immediate completion of Ilocos Sur pump irrigation project
By Freddie G. Lazaro
Bantay, Ilocos Sur (29 January) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo instructed officials of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) to immediately fast-track the completion of the multi-million Banaoang Pump Irrigation Project in Barangay San Mariano, Bantay, Ilocos Sur until her birthday on April 5 during her short inspection visit to the area last Wednesday.
"We need to fast tract the completion of this pump irrigation project because this will address the perennial problem of agriculture sector on insufficiency of water for growing crops and at the same, this project will mitigate the effect of the El Niņo in the province," President Arroyo said.
NIA Administrator Salazar disclosed, in his project briefing, that even if the pump irrigation is not yet finished, it has already been irrigating more than 1,000 hectares due to its impounded water in the canals coming from rain falls and small creeks.
"As of today, the over-all accomplishment of the Banaoang Pump Irrigation Project is already 87% and we will finish it until April 5, 2010 upon directive from the President," he said.
The construction of Banaoang Pump Irrigation Project, which was initiated by former Congressman Salacnib Baterina, started in March 2003, two years after PGMA took over the presidency.
Total project cost sums to P2.4 billion. The source of fund for the project is a loan from the People's Republic of China and is being implemented by the China Agricultural Machinery Import/Export Company (CAMCI).
The irrigation project will be servicing about 6,312 hectares of agricultural lands covering the towns of Bantay, Sta, Catalina, San Ildefonso, Caoayan, Magsingal, Sto. Domingo, San Vicente and Vigan City will be benefiting around 5,334 farm households.
The pump irrigation projects had the following features: installed 7 electric powered pumps, 1.4 kilometers tunnel, 87 kilometer main canal and lateral canals, 310 kilometers amin and supplementary farm ditches, 87 kilometers operation and maintenance roads and 170 kilometers drainage canals.
"The project aims to help boost the production of 72,900 metric tons of milled rice annually from the 7 towns and 1 city in the first district of Ilocos Sur," Salazar said.
The President's visit in Ilocos Sur was one of the highlights of her day-long sorties in the region to inaugurate and inspects all her major infrastructure projects to include the newly-constructed P576.843-million Sarrat Bridge in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte; the 2.4 Billion Banaoang Pump Irrigation Project in Bantay, Ilocos Sur; the groundbreaking of the P11.59 Billion Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) Project in Barangay Subusub, Rosario, La Union and the P10.2 million Agno River Flood Control System.
She was joined by Secretary Hermogenes Esperon of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) and was welcomed by Deputy National Security Adviser Luis Chavit Singson, Governor Deogracias Victor "DV" B. Savellano, Congressman Ronald V. Singson (1st District of Ilocos Sur) and NIA Administrator Carlos Salazar. (PIA-Ilocos Sur) [top]