June 25, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Marcos urges NIA to modernize, rehabilitate Magat Dam

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. called on the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) on Monday to modernize and rehabilitate the Magat Dam.

The dam was built during the time of the Chief Executive’s father, the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr.

“Nag-uusap nga kami ni Administrator Guillen. ‘Ika namin, balikan natin, tingnan natin ullit ‘yung Magat Dam at tingnan natin kung pupuwede pa. Mukhang mayroon pang kailangan. Mayroon siguro rehabilitation na kailangan. Pagandahin natin,” President Marcos said during the inauguration of the P65.7-million Cabaruan solar-powered irrigation project (SPIP) at Brgy. Cabaruan, Quirino, Isabela.

“Lagyan din natin ng ganitong solar kung babagay siya para naman i-modernize natin lahat ng ating mga facilities,” he pointed out.

Constructed in 1975, the Magat Dam is a major source of irrigation for 85,000 hectares of farmland in Cagayan Valley region.

It also generates 540 megawatts of hydroelectric power. However, the dam is threatened by continuous siltation, sedimentation, slash-and-burn farming, illegal logging, and fish caging.

According to the President, his father made the right decision when he constructed the Magat Dam which became the key to agricultural development in Isabela and Cagayan Valley region.

The Cagayan River, the longest river in the Philippines, has so much potential for the agriculture sector because of the tributaries connected to it, said the President.

Aside from the modernization of Magat Dam, the President also directed NIA to study the country’s irrigation assets with power generation potential.

“Inaanyayahan ko rin kayong pag-aralan kung alin pa sa mga irrigation assets natin sa bansa ang maaari nating lagyan ng power generation [facilities] kagaya rito o iba pang mga pasilidad upang lubos nating mapakinabangan ang mga ito at mabawasan ang gastos na pasanin ng ating mga magsasaka sa pagpapatakbo nito,” said President Marcos.

The Cabaruan SPIP, the biggest solar-powered irrigation system, could irrigate 350 hectares of land. It has the potential to provide excess power to nearby communities, as well as water supply for households.

According to the President, 152 solar-powered pump irrigation projects are being constructed, with 118 projects to be put up by the government.

So far, 82 solar-powered pump irrigation projects had been completed last year, he said. He vowed to increase that number in the coming years.