Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Philippines investing P2B more for irrigation in North Luzon

PGMA orders release of P2-billion for NLAQ irrigation projects

STO. TOMAS, Pangasinan (PND) – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today ordered the release of P2-billion for the repairs, rehabilitation and restoration of neglected irrigation systems in the North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle (NLAQ) during a full Cabinet meeting here.

The meeting was held at the rest house of Presidential Anti-smuggling Group (PASG) chief Antonio Villar in Barangay San Antonio of this town.

The President’s order was in response to the presentation of NLAQ Super Region Development champion and Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, who said farmers in the region need adequate logistical support to increase their productivity and boost national food security.

The additional allocation, Yap said, will enable the National Irrigation Administration “to rehabilitate irrigation systems servicing about 16,726 hectares and restore similar systems irrigating 34,911 hectares within the NLAQ area."

The amount will also partly fund the ongoing major irrigation projects in NLAQ, including the Agno River Integrated Irrigation Project in Pangasinan and the Balintingon Multi-Purpose Irrigation Project in Nueva Ecija, that will expand irrigated lands in their surrounding areas by 20 per cent.

One of the notable projects already completed in NLAQ is the La Trinidad Minimal Processing Plant which enables farmers to process about five tons of vegetables per day or 2–3 tons of meat products per day.

This facility ensures the sanitation and freshness of the vegetables and meat products and increases their shelf life to one week.

Other completed projects in the super region are the San Fernando Airport in La Union, the 33 megawatt (MW) Bangui Bay Wind Power Project (Phase II), and the Dingalan Port Development Project in Aurora Province.

The Cabinet Meeting here in Pangasinan is the fifth in a series of Super Region meetings.

Out-of-town cabinet meetings have recently been held in various parts of the country including Pampanga, Boracay, and Misamis Oriental where the status and accomplishments of infrastructure projects in the Luzon Urban Beltway, Cyber Philippines, Central Philippines, and the Mindanao Agribusiness region were discussed.

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