By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The inauguration of a P74-million pumping station in Camarines Sur is seen to irrigate additional 2,000 hectares of agricultural land in the province.
National Irrigation Administration (NIA) chief Ricardo Visaya led the inauguration of the P74-million Libmanan-Cabusao Pump Irrigation System (LCPIS) in Awayan, Sipocot, Camarines Sur.
The pumping station has four units of brand-new 250-horsepower (HP) diesel engines and pumps, which will irrigate 2,195 hectares of farmlands, benefiting 1,728 farmers and their families in 10 barangays in Libmanan and two barangays in Cabusao, Camarines Sur.
The LCPIS was originally constructed in the early 1980s under the Integrated Area Development Program of the Philippine government with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
It had four units of electrically-driven engines and pumps.
In 1998, the electric engines were replaced with diesel engines and only two remain operational today.
Camarines Sur has the largest potential irrigable area of 123,700 hectares among the six provinces of Bicol Region.
As of June 2018, NIA has already irrigated a total service area of 77,043 hectares in Camarines Sur, attaining 62.28 percent of irrigation development.
Thus, the LCPIS is projected to add to the percentage of irrigation development in the province.
NIA said it remains dedicated on its mandate of providing efficient, reliable, and sustainable irrigation service to the Filipino farmers through the construction, rehabilitation, restoration, and maintenance of irrigation systems nationwide.