National Irrigation Administration - President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday led the launching of the Balog-Balog Multipurpose Project Phase II at NIA Campsite, Bgy. Sula, San Jose Tarlac.
NIA Administrator Dr. Florencio F. Padernal together with BBMP Project Manager Engr. Josephine B. Salazar led NIA delegations in welcoming President Aquino.
The BBMP II amounting to P13.37 billion, when fully completed will irrigate a total of 34, 410 hectares and will serve at least 23,000 farmers. It is projected to increase the cropping intensity within the service area from 24% to 200% which will directly improve the crop production and farmers' income.
PNoy in his speech cited the importance of the project bamong Tarlaqueño in coping up with neighboring provinces for a bountiful rice harvests. "Minamarkahan natin ang isa na namang proyekto na magdadala ng benepisyo sa ating mga boss, panibagong patunay ito sa gobyernong tunay na nakatutok sa kanyang mandato ang pagsilbihan at sundin ang taong bayan" Aquino said.
The president also explained why the project took decades to construct. He even apologized to the crowd "Sinuri po natin ng husto ang proyektong ito, sinigurado na tama ang lahat ng proseso" he added.
During the project briefing, NIA Administrator Padernal told everyone that the project started 2015 and set to finish by 2018. He further explains details of construction which involves Balog-Balog earth-fill dam at the Upper Bulsa River and new irrigation canals and structures.
NIA Administrator Florencio F. Padernal explains briefly about the Balog-Balog Multipurpose Project during the project launching on May 26, 2016.
"Kapag po natapos ang proyektong ito ay masisilbihan po natin ang halos sampu (10) na munisipalidad ditto sa probinsya ng Tarlac kasama po diyan ang Paniqui, Pura, Ramos, Victoria, Gerona, San Jose, Lapaz, Capas, Concepcion, at Tarlac City".
Meanwhile, Tarlac Governor Yap thanked the NIA management and PNoy for the political will to finally continue the project. "50 years back and forward nasa panaginip lang po natin ito noon pero isang panaginip ang maisasakatuparan na ngayon" he emphasized.
As a multipurpose dam, the project is also expected to potentially generate 43.5 MW of hydropower. The mega dam has a storage capacity of 560 MCM which can mitigate flooding in low-lying areas and provide inland fish production within the affected families. Thus, providing the upland communities with livelihood opportunity through fishery on at least 150 hectares in the 1, 755 hectare reservoir area.
The project is also seen to be a future tourist destination that can boost local eco-tourism industry in the area.
Also present during the event were LGU officials in Tarlac, farmers, and various irrigators associations. NIA team consists of Deputy Administrators, NIA central office department and division managers, and NIA Region 3 gladly witnessed the momentous feat.