By Rey Anthony Chiu, PIA-Bohol | 10:55 AM May 30, 2021
The first of Bohol’s newest assets to help boost local rice productivity, and Ubay’s second irrigation facility intended to increase rice harvests of about 600 farmers opens with no less that the National Irrigation Administration’s (NIA) senior deputy Administrator and retired army Brigader General Abraham Bagasin during its turn-over of operations Thursday, May 27.
Trapping the run-off from Pasanan Creek, the Benliw Small Reservoir Irrigation Project covers an irrigation service area of over 400 hectares, and even upgradable to a few hundreds more, according to former NIA Project Manager Engr. Modesto Membreve.
Membreve, who retired when the project was 90 percent completed, was personally seeing to it that the project, one President Rodrigo Duterte made sure would be completed along with more upcoming operationalization of four other similar facilities in Bohol.
It was Membreve who revealed that the facility, a brainchild of then Congressman Erico Aumentado and former NIA Bohol manager Engr Calixto Seroje.
Meanwhile, Aumentado, who could not see the realization of his envisioned infrastructure, has his son now and namesake to see to it that the project can be used according to its intended purpose.
In his message, the younger Aumentado said Duterte has poured solid investments in Bohol, and not just for the 600 farmers in Benliw catchment.
He shared how he could remember his father lobby for the facility’s funding but not until President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was a close friend, put in the estimated P620 million which was later revised to P645 million facility now.
NIA Regional Manager Engr. Wilson Lopez, upon whose leadership the operationalization of the facility falls, said aside from irrigation which is the primary purpose of the multi-million facility, Benliw SRIP is also eyed for aquaculture and soil stabilization of the region which features rolling hills and vast valleys.
Set to serve rice farms in Benliw, Imelda, Cagting, Biabas and Sinandigan, Benliw SRIP can hold as much as 2.668 million cubic meters of storage dependent on the mean annual rainfall of 1,020.00 millimeters producing an annual run-off of 3.88 million cubic meters. ,
Bagasin, in his message during the turn-over after the ceremonial opening of the dam’s intake gates, pointed out that he sees the ideal coordination that happened in Bohol with the national and local governments, facilitated the fast tracking of the infrastructure development.
Unlike other areas, we could feel the resistance, but not here. This is due to the coordination and cooperation of local government units, he cited.
Benliw dam, which affords one a magnificent view of the mountains, can also be a place for recreational activities for additional income, he told the few members of the Benliw Small Reservoir Irrigation System who would be benefitting from the project.
Along with Benliw, upcoming major irrigation projects for turn over anytime soon are Bonotbonot SRIP, Calunasan Calape SRIP, Malinao heightening project and Bayongan rehab, which could contribute greatly to the dream of making Ubay and Pilar as Bohol’s rice granaries. (rahchiu/PIA-7/Bohol)