CAUAYAN CITY: In a bid to adapt to the impact of climate change, a foreign-funded multimillion-peso water project will soon be constructed in the northern part of Isabela called the Pasa Dam.
Engineer Vicente Galvez, National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Director for Region 2, said the project is funded by the Korean government through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica).
Galvez said the project is designed to initially irrigate 980 hectares of farmlands covering Barangays Pasa, Santa Victoria, Fuyo, Morado and Minabang in Ilagan City.
NIA and local officials as well as Korean embassy officers graced on Thursday the groundbreaking rites for the $21.7 million mini dam or small reservoir irrigation project in Barangay Pasa, Ilagan City.
Officials said this was approved for implementation by President Benigno Aquino 3rd on January 18 of this year which is expected to be completed in 2015.
NIA officials said the project aims to reduce the adverse impact of climate change and support enhanced water management in rural areas through the construction of water impounding facilities.
“It will also increase agricultural productivity and will generate more income resources and improve condition of life,” Galvez said.
He said this is part of of Korean government’s five-year program on East Asia Climate Change Partnership “to address climate change and to bolster Green Growth in Asia.”
Gov. Faustino Dy 3rd said the project would also mitigate floods with its small water impounding or catchment basin features.
Dy said this is besides further enhancing Isabela’s rice and corn production and increasing farmer’s annual income and mitigating poverty at target area.
Once the project is completed, Dy said, it would further fortify Isabela as the country’s leading agriculture province.
“Considering that northern Isabela is prone to floods especially during rainy season, the [Pasa Dam] project flood control system is also very timely,” Dy said.
The province of Isabela is the country’s third largest and hosts partly the Magat Dam, formerly Asia’s biggest rock-fill dam, a source of irrigation water and as a provider of hydroelectric power.
The Magat Dam irrigates more than 80,000 hectares of farmlands and also generates 360 megawatts of power for the Luzon grid.
Isabela is the country’s number one corn-producing province and second in rice production.
Leander C. Domingo