The historic groundbreaking started with the laying of the capsule by Jin Yuan, Economic and Commercial Councellor of the Embassy of the Republic of China in the Philippines; Gen. Ricardo Visaya, National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Administrator, Kalinga Gov. Jocel Baac and District Rep. Allen Jesse Mangaoang, Gov. Manuel Mamba of Cagayan, NIA officials and barangay officials of host communities.
Mr. Yuan said the project is the first and biggest soft loan package offered by China to the Philippines and a product of deep friendship and economic cooperation. This was signed during Pres. Duterte’s attendance to the Boao Forum for Asia on April 10, and part of total P10 Billion in investment forged by the two countries.
This P4.3 billion project was awarded last March this year to China CAMC Engineering Co. Ltd. for a three -year contract.
Major components of the project are construction of pump house; installation of six units electric motor-driven pumps; installation of 30 kilometers transmission line and a sub-station; construction of 1.9 km. diversion canal tunnel, 4.4 km. diversion canal, 33.5 km. main canal and 100 km. lateral canals, irrigation and drainage structures; construction of 8-km access road to the pump site and 84-km service roads; construction of project management office; and institutional development.
The project will irrigate 8,700 hectares to benefit 4,350 farmers and provide employment to 9,115 peple during project implementation and 8,700 during operation phase.
Visaya asked farmer-beneficiaries and local officials for their full support to the project saying “we are thankful we have a President who hears, feels and responds to the Filipinos' aspiration for better life.”
Mamba, who was part of the working team who worked for this project to be approved, described this as a ” dream come true.” He thanked the President for his generosity and kind heart for realizing the project after 10 years of waiting.
Mangaoang also asked the the people to support the project in order to inspire government to give more projects to the province. Peter A. Balocnit (JDP/PAB-PIA CAR, Kalinga)