Chico River tapped anew for irrigation

PINUKPUK, KALINGA—At least 4,000 farming households here and in Cagayan province were seen to benefit from a China-funded irrigation project that will tap the Chico River.

On Friday, Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco and Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua led the groundbreaking ceremony for the P4.4-billion Chico River pump irrigation project at Sitio Karaw in Barangay Pinococ here.

The project included six electric pumps in Barangay Katabbogan that can draw 3,800 liters per second. This will irrigate 7,150 hectares in Tuao town and 380 ha in Piat town, both in Cagayan, and 1,170 ha in this Kalinga town.

Chinese requirement

The construction of the pumps, a 42.6-kilometer diversion channel and main canal, and a 98-km lateral canal will employ 14,780 skilled workers during the building phase and 8,700 workers when the Chico River irrigation system becomes operational, said Ricardo Visaya, chief of the National Irrigation Administration.

Zhao said the project would be financed by China Eximbank. He said China CAMC Engineering Co. Ltd. would build the project, part of the requirement of China Eximbank.

Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba, who joined the ceremony here, said the project would improve the income of 4,350 families here and in Cagayan. —Villamor Visayas

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