Chinese officials visit NIA anew for future partnership

MANILA, Philippines — Chinese Commercial Counselor Jin Yuan and Second Secretary Yang Ming from the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines recently held talks with the top management of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), led by Administrator Florencio F. Padernal to discuss a smooth future cooperation for the country’s irrigation sector.

“We are glad that the Philippine President (Rodrigo) Duterte had a very successful state visit in China,” said Yuan.

He emphasized that the next most important action of the economic partnership is substantial implementation.

“We believe that your country (Philippines) is one of the most important economies in Asia,” he noted.

Yuan further shared his meeting with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to draw up a six-year economic plan for the Philippines.

Padernal, for his part, briefly introduced NIA and its accomplishments for the past two years, including its hydropower initiatives.

The six projects being proposed for funding were:

— Asbang Small Reservoir Impounding Project (SRIP), located in Davao del Sur province in Region 11. It will irrigate about 469 hectares and costs approximately PHP1.200 million;

— Bohol Northeast Basin Multipurpose Dam Project located in Bohol province, Region 7. It will irrigate an estimated 12,500 hectares covering six municipalities, and has an estimated cost of PHP4.134 million;

— Gregorio del Pilar Impounding Project in the province of Ilocos Sur, Region 1. It will irrigate about 5,000 hectares in five municipalities and will have an estimated project cost of PHP3.452 million;

— Ilocos Norte Irrigation Project covering the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur both in Region 1, and the province of Abra in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). The estimated Service Area of the PHP14,994.04 million project is 12,400 hectares;

— Tumaini River Multipurpose Project located in Cagayan province in Region 2. It will cover three municipalities of the province. The project will generate an estimated service area of 4,585 hectares and has an estimated project cost of PHP4,003.03 million; and

— Panay River Basin Integrated Development Project located in the provinces of Iloilo and Capiz in Region 6. The PHP14,761.90 million project will benefit 19 municipalities and will irrigate an estimated service area of 28,000 hectares.

Padernal stressed that the six projects’ feasibility studies are underway and should be fast-tracked as it is hoped that the proposed projects would be completed in two to four years.

Counselor Yuan meanwhile asked the management to come up with a list of priority projects for the next six years.

“We would like to request your project proposals and see which we can push through,” he noted.

Padernal assured Yuan that NIA will surely work in parallel with NEDA, which is the prime agency coordinating with the China Exim Bank Financing.

“We are happy that it can be the fruitful start of future collaborations between the two countries,” he said. Lilybet Ison/PNA-northboundasia.com