P381-M irrigation dam to rise soon in Sorsogon

By Mar Serrano

LEGAZPI CITY -- A PHP381-million small irrigation dam will soon rise in the rich farming town of Prieto Diaz in Sorsogon to benefit hundreds of farmers in 15 villages, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) in Bicol said.

On Monday, NIA Administrator Ricardo Visaya led national and local officials in the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ibingan Small Reservoir Irrigation Project (SRIP) in the said town.

Ed Yu, NIA-Bicol spokesperson, said Tuesday, the irrigation dam project is a 27.20-meter high zone earth-filled dam with a total storage of 0.6591 million cubic meters (MCM) of irrigation water.

The dam will cover 489 hectares of irrigable land, benefitting 584 farmers.

Majority of barangays in the town of Prieto Diaz have no existing irrigation system, the reason farmers can only irrigate their rice fields during wet season.

The project aims to provide sustainable irrigation system to improve agricultural productivity through the provision and improvement of irrigation and drainage infrastructure, and is thus expected to increase farmers' income and uplift their standard of living.

Yu said initially, some PHP294 million has been spent under this project involving pre-construction facilities of 1.6 kilometers of access roads, construction of 39.2 km of line canals, 86 units of canal structures, 7.8 kilometers of service roads and 18 road structures.

Visaya, in an interview on Monday, said the small dam project is among the several locally-funded projects for implementation this year.

He said his office is also looking forward for the PHP3.6-billion Chico Irrigation project in Ilocos funded by China under the Official Development Assistance program.

“We are still working on eight foreign projects from China and another PHP11.5-billion project to be funded by Korea in Isabela,” Visaya said.

He said for this year, NIA is working on a PHP42-billion funding and is requesting for a PHP56-billion budget for 2019. (PNA)