PILAR, Bohol – Stakeholders, especially irrigators, of this town wanted to know when will the upgrading of Malinao Dam of this town start. This surfaced as the “weak” El Niño started to wreck havoc on some rice farms in rice-producing towns even threatening further irrigation dams despite National Irrigation Administration’s claim that the situation “is not alarming,” some irrigators here said.
P-Noy thru the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) approved the upgrading project at a cost of PhP653 million “to double the impounding capacity of Malinao Dam in earthquake-stricken Bohol province to sufficiently irrigate unserved and underserved areas.” the Phil Daily Inquirer said.
The fund for Malinao upgrading is part of the total PhP62.3 billion for infrastructure projects “to improve the supply of water” including the national capital region, “increase capacity mass transport systems,” and upgrade some of the country’s airports.
Included in the approval are what are called as big-ticket projects: “P18.7-billion Kaliwa Dam project designed to produce 600 million liters of water a day, and a P5.8-billion project at Angat Dam to improve the transmission lines of the facility that supplies about 90 percent of the raw water requirements of Metro Manila, the Light Railway Transit (LRT) 2 maintenance project in Manila and the P10.6-billion rapid bus transit project in Cebu City will have gotten off to a start by the time Mr. Aquino’s term ends in 2016.”
The President and the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) board gave the nod to the said projects during a Palace meeting last week, the report said.
But if the said report is to be believed, only two of the big ticket projects may be started off before P-Noy steps down on June next year. “However, only two of these major undertakings will even get started by the time Mr. Aquino steps down in 2016,” the report said.
These projects are the P18.7-billion Kaliwa Dam project designed to produce 600 million liters of water a day, and a P5.8-billion Angat Dam project to improve the transmission lines of the facility that supplies about 90 percent of the raw water requirements of Metro Manila, it said.
Studies showed that increasing the holding capacity of the multi-million Malinao Dam is feasible, the late and former Governor Erico Aumentado, once said. “The feasibility study worth $1US dollars is a grant by the Korean Government upon the governor’s request on upgrading the Malinao Dam and enlarging its service area. Malinao Dam, of the Bohol Irrigation Project Phase 1 cost 1.4B yen and was designed to catch the waters off Wahig-Pamacsalan River and irrigate 4,960 hectares of prime rice lands.”
Mayor Nita T. Cubrado of this town earlier expressed elation over the planned upgrading of the dam following its approval by the NEDA chaired by P-Noy. It is a welcome development for Pilarnons, she added.
The dam was built thru the funding assistance of the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF) of Japanese government and inaugurated on February 6, 1966 by then President Fidel V. Ramos. It is intended to serve some 5,000 hectares covering the towns of Alicia, Ubay, Dagohoy and San Miguel, aside from this town. It can contain some 5.9 million of cubic meters of water and has 65 kilometers of concrete canal network to service areas. (rvo)