The 4.37 billion-peso Chico River Pump Irrigation Project (CRPIP), the first NIA flagship infrastructure project under President Rodrigo Duterte’s Build, Build, Build Program, broke ground on June 8, 2018.
NIA Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya and Mr. Jin Yuan, the Economic and Commercial Councellor, Embassy of the Republic of China, together with Acting Regional Irrigation Manager Constancio G. Bana-ay, Jr., Acting Project Manager Roland V. Apaga, Cagayan Governor Manuel N. Mamba, Kalinga Governor Jocel C. Baac, Congressman Allan Jesse Mangaoang of the Lone Ditrict of Kalinga and Pinococ Barangay Captain Saturnino B. Tamdog, led the Ceremonial Groundbreaking Ceremony in Sitio Karaw, Pinococ, Pinukpuk, Kalinga.
Project components include the construction of Pump House Appurtenant structures in Katabbogan, Pinukpuk, Kalinga; installation of 6 units electric motor-driven pumps with an individual capacity of 3,000 liters per second; installation of 30 kilometers transmission line; construction of 2 units conveyance tunnel, 4.403 kilometers diversion main canal, 33.596 kilometers main canal, 100.48 kilometer lateral canal, roads, irrigation and drainage facilities; contruction of eight-kilometer access road and 84.387 kilometers service roads; construction of Project Management Office in Naruangan, Tuao, Cagayan; and institutional development. CRPIP will be constructed by China CAMC Engineering Co. Ltd.
Once completed, water delivery will be efficient and substancial to 8,700 hectares of riceland in both provinces of Cagayan and Kalinga, will benefit 4,350 farmers of 22 barangays and is projected to create 14,784 temporary jobs during project implementation and 8,700 permanent jobs when the project becomes completely operational in three years’ time. Furthermore, CRPIP is expected to contribute 36,217 metric tons of milled rice to the country’s rice consumption; to contribute $ 15.57M savings from rice importation, and to yield an Incremental Income of Php 75,193/ha/year inclusive of high value crops.
“This project is our best gift to tomorrow’s China-Philippines Friendship Day,” Councellor Yuan said in his message, as June 9, 2018 is the 43rd commemoration of the Filipino-Chinese Diplomatic Relations, which was initiated in 1975. He also commended NIA for doing very efficient work in the program preparation.
The ceremony was well attended by almost 2,500 farmers, more than a thousand local, national and international dignitaries.
Governor Mamba shared that he is very grateful to President Duterte for his hometown is a recipient of such a big project. He also encouraged his constituents to support the project because it has been a culmination of their lifelong dream.
Governor Baac, who shared that office work was suspended in Kalinga PLGU to celebrate and attend the occasion, requested NIA to add more farm lands to be irrigated in Kalinga, in addition to the 1,170 hectares already included in the design plans. He appealed that if possible, since the water source is Kalinga, the benefitted area be increased to at least half of Cagayan’s service area.
Administrator Visaya promised that the appeal will be one of the serious priorities that NIA will be looking into before the submission of 2019 budget proposal.
CRPIP is the first Chinese soft-loan funded infrastructure project in the Philippines. The scheme of development is through pumps where the water is lifted from the source, without the construction of any type of dam; so, contrary to the belief of some concerned people, no areas will be submerged.