NIA: Retrofitting of Magat Dam beneficial to farmers

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) on Monday underscored the significance of retrofitting the Magat Dam considering the welfare of farmers. In the Laging Handa public briefing, NIA acting administrator Eduardo Guillen said the dam needs to be fortified immediately. ‘Alam naman po natin na iyong Magat Dam mayroong lindol lately, naapektuhan po iyong dam natin. So mayroon po tayong gagawing retrofitting diyan o pagpapatibay ng ating dam (We know that the Magat Dam was recently affected by an earthquake so we need to do a retrofitting or a strengthening of our dam),’ he said. He said the implementation of retrofitting shall be implemented this year. Guillen, however, said the NIA needs around PHP500 million worth of funds for the move. He said Senator Imee Marcos joined several agencies in supporting the funding to improve the four-decade-old dam. ‘Tumulong po kasi sa amin si senadora diyan sa funding… medyo malaki-laki ang gastos po na ito pero kapag nagtulung-tulong po, tinutulungan kami ng mga iba’t ibang agencies at ng nasa Kongreso (Senator [Imee Marcos] helped us in the funding… the expense is quite huge but with the help of others, various agencies and the Congress have been helping us),’ he added. Guillen said coordination is significant considering the importance of the dam to the farmers. ‘Ang dami pong umaasa po diyan na ating mga farmers lalo iyong ating mga irrigators’ association para sa kanilang patubig (Many farmers have been depending [on Magat Dam], especially our irrigators’ association for their irrigation),’ he said. Guillen said it will also be a huge help for farmers if the dam remains beneficial even over a hundred years. Apart from its benefits to farmers, Senator Marcos earlier said the move shall also help the sector combat the effects of climate change. On April 22, Marcos joined the NIA and other agencies as well as the local government unit in the groundbreaking rites of the Magat Dam retrofitting works. She also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the NIA and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 2 to intensify the rehabilitation efforts on the Magat Watershed Forest Reserve

Source: Philippines News Agency