Manila, Philippines - The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) said Monday will reconstruct a collapsed dam in Bulacan pointed-out to have been the major cause of the inundation of several towns in the province last year at the onslaught of typhoon Pedring.
<p>Other than the reconstruction of Bulu Dam, NIA-Regional Irrigation Management–Central Luzon (NIA-RIM 3) under Engr. Reynaldo Puno will implement more than P 120 million worth of irrigation projects this year in Pampanga. He is also undertaking repairs of existing irrigation systems.
<p>NIA Administrator Antonio Nangel said among the projects included in the P 120 million fund are: Bacolor Irrigation Project in Bacolor town – P 92,150,000.00; Improvement of SIPPAMA Pump Irrigation Project – P 9,215,000.00; and, Improvement of TEOBACU-IA Irrigation Canal Facilities – P 18,430,000.00 , both in the municipality of San Luis.
<p>On the reconstruction project, Nangel directed Puno to immediately undertake the feasibility study on the reconstruction of Bulu Dam which irrigates some 1,300 hectares of cash-crops and palay in San Miguel town.
<p>The decision to reconstruct the dam, built earlier by the Department of Public Works and Highways for flood control, was made in a meeting of NIA officials with Bulacan officials led by Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvardo last Monday.
<p>Puno directed his assistant, Engineer Marcelino Santos, Engineer Prudencio Santos of the Tarlac-San Miguel – O’Donnel Regional Irrigation System and Engineer Carlito Gapasin of the District Four - Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System (UPRIIS) to jointly undertake the study. Gapasin represented UPRIIS operations manager Josephine Salazar.
<p>Nangel and Puno said the Bulu Dam reconstruction would cost P 400 million to P 500 million. The feasibility study, they said, will be completed by July and the detailed engineering before yearend. They have yet to determine the source of fund.
<p>Alvarado asked Nangel and Puno to start with the construction by February next year to safeguard the project from being linked to politics.
<p>Puno, former UPRIIS operations manager, said the reconstruction of the Bulu Dam was prompted by the request of Irrigators Association Zone 3 led by Ben Laurente coursed through the Alvarado.
<p>At the height of typhoon Pedring late last year, Bulu Dam collapsed and the water rushed downstream which mixed with floodwater from the swollen Pampanga River which inundated Candaba, Calumpit and nearby towns for several weeks.
<p>Meanwhile, Nangel urged the Bulacan farmers to practice rattoon cropping for less cost and bigger harvest. Nangel addressed the farmers at the awarding rites of farm implements donated by the Department of Agriculture as earlier promised by Secretary Proceso Alcala.
<p>Nangel said that rattooning of palay yields yields up to 50 cavans per hectare with minimal irrigation water requirement and fertilizer, complement of the local government unit in cooperation with the NIA.
<p>At the same time, Nangel said potable water could now be sourced directly from rivers through filtration system. He said such filtration plants have already been working in Masbate, one of 20 poorest provinces in the country through the efforts of the NIA and DA.