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PIA Press Release

Pangasinan irrigation project to benefit 17 towns

By Danny O Sagun

Dagupan City (02 June) -- Some 35,000 hectares of farm lands in 17 towns in Pangasinan will benefit from the Agno River Integrated Irrigation Project (ARIIP), the project information officer said Tuesday.

Evangeline Arceo told the Pantongtongan Tayo radio program of the Philippine Information Agency over Radyo ng Bayan-Dagupan that the P11.2-billion-project will benefit a total of 28,207 farm families.

The irrigation service area will cover Urdaneta City and the towns of San Manuel, Asingan, Villasis, Binalonan, Laoac, Manaoag, Mangaldan, Calasiao, Sta. Barbara, Malasiqui, Mapandan, Natividad, San Nicoas, San Quintin, Sta. Maria, Tayug and Balungao.

The project involves the construction of a diversion dam that will serve as a re-regulating pond for the water releases of the San Roque Multi-Purpose dam in San Manuel town, and the rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage facilities of the existing Agno River Irrigation System (ARIS) which has a service area of 26,850 hectares, and the Ambayaoan-Dipalo River Irrigation System (ADRIS) with its 7,600-hectare service area.

Bidding for the re-regulating pond, which is funded thru a loan from China, was held last May 25, she disclosed. She failed to identify the winning bidder but Presidential Management Staff head Hermogenes Esperon earlier told a farmers-irrigators’ forum at the Pangasinan State University campus in Sta. Maria town that China Machineries and Agricultural Company won the bidding in China for the P4.5 billion pond project.

Construction of the pond is set to start in December. Construction, restoration and rehabilitation of all irrigation facilities are expected to be completed by December 2013, Arceo said, citing a schedule of activities prepared by ARIIP project manager Reynaldo Mencias and his staff.

Presently, ARIS and ADRIS irrigate a total of 11,024 hectares of ricelands. The service area will increase to 34,450 hectares after the completion of the project, she said.

ARIIP is one of the priority projects of the administration under the Superregions program.

Meanwhile, engineer Renato Millan of the National Irrigation Administration regional office also told the weekly public affairs program that rehabilitation of the damaged San Fabian irrigation dam is already ongoing. The repair is due for completion in eight months, he said.

The irrigation system covers farmlands in the towns of San Fabian, San Jacinto and part of Manaoag.

Millan, head of the irrigation management office, also revealed that the irrigation agency is implementing the government’s rationalization plan. Under the RatPlan, the NIA regional office is now composed of two divisions from the former five under the old set-up.

Former provincial irrigation manager Helsy Bermudez now heads the engineering and operations division. The four national irrigation systems in the province and the communal systems, now fall under the engineering operations division. "Nasa iisang bubong na sila," he said. (PIA Pangasinan) [top]

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