Completion of P2.6-B irrigation project in 2018 assured

DAGUPAN CITY — More than 10,000 farmers tilling 12,984 hectares of land in Pangasinan will benefit once the Agno River Irrigation System Extension Project  (ARISEP), costing more than PHP2.6 billion, is completed in December next year.

This was revealed by Ceferino Sta. Ana, project manager of ARISEP, a major irrigation project in Pangasinan, when he briefed participants to the Irrigation Stakeholders Summit at CSI Stadia in Dagupan City, Wednesday afternoon.

He added that ARISEP is Phase II of the Agno River Integrated Irrigation Project (ARIIP).  Phase I is  already 100 percent complete and now irrigating some 18,000 hectares of farm lands in eastern and central Pangasinan.

ARISEP, which was started in May 2015, is now 51 percent complete and set to be completed in 2018.

“Right now, we have 51 percent overall accomplishment and is  already one and a half year in implementation. That means, we have one year and two months to go,” Sta. Ana told participants of the summit.

When completed, ARISEP will provide year-round irrigation to rice lands in eight towns of Pangasinan — Natividad, San Nicolas, San Quintin, Sta. Maria, Tayug, Balungao, Umingan and Rosales.

The project consists of rehabilitation and restoration of existing old irrigation line canals and construction of new canals.

Source of water for both Phases I and II of ARIIP is the San Roque Dam, the highest rock-filled dam in southeast Asia and the second highest in the whole of Asia.

When completed, the project would have a big impact on rice production in Pangasinan, which is already the third biggest rice producer in the country after Nueva Ecija and Isabela provinces.