Marcos tells NIA to add power to irrigation

President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. in Isabela
President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. leads the inauguration of the Cabaruan Solar Pump Irrigation Project in the Municipality of Quirino, Province of Isabela on Monday, 10 June 2024. Yummie Dingding

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. urged the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) on Monday to explore the potential of equipping the country's irrigation assets with power generation facilities. 

In his speech during the inauguration of the Cabaruan Solar-Powered Pump Irrigation Project at the Cabaruan SPIP Site in Isabela, Marcos underscored the need for innovative approaches to maximize the use of these resources and alleviate the financial burden on farmers.

“I (…) ask NIA to study which other irrigation assets in our country can be equipped with power generation facilities like this one or other facilities so that we can fully utilize them and reduce the operational costs borne by our farmers," Marcos said in Filipino.

The Cabaruan Solar-Powered Pump Irrigation Project features 1,056 solar panels with a combined output exceeding 739,000 watts.

The system can discharge up to 12,800 gallons per minute, expected to irrigate 350 hectares of farmland.

Marcos mentioned that this initiative might help Isabela regain its status as the leading rice-producing province in the country.

In the same speech, Marcos recognized the Magat Dam’s contribution to providing water to farmers in Isabela and the Cagayan Valley.

The Magat Dam was inaugurated in 1982 during the administration of his father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

“My father, President Marcos Sr., was not wrong in having the Magat Dam built, as it will serve as the key to the development of agriculture here in Isabela and the entire Cagayan Valley," Marcos said.

Marcos also said that he is currently in discussions with NIA Administrator Eduardo Guillen regarding the rehabilitation of the dam and the potential installation of solar panels as part of the administration's modernization efforts.

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