DAGUPAN CITY -- For the fourth time this first quarter of 2010, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will again visit the province of Pangasinan.

Arroyo will fly to San Manuel town this (Tuesday) morning to inspect the ongoing construction of the P4.5 billion re-regulating pond, the irrigation component of the San Roque Multi-Purpose Dam.

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Last November 2009, then Presidential Management Staff Chief Hermogenes Jr. and Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap led the groundbreaking ceremony for this long-awaited component of the dam.

“This re-regulating pond is something we farmers look forward to. Rainfed farm lands will then have water even during dry season, and the farmers can have up to three cropping a year,” Esperon earlier said.

“Another important thing is the fourth component of the dam. It will also serve as the source of potable drinking water, which can supply at least 14 towns and at least two cities, Urdaneta and Dagupan. Napakalagang bagay na may ibang pagkukunan ng potable drinking water instead of getting drinking water by deep well or from the ground. Because if you continuously do that, the ground water level will be affected, salt water can sip in, agriculture will be damaged,” he added.

The size of the re-regulating pond is 300 meters in length and about 12 meters in height.

It can impound about 4.5 million cubic meters of water released from the turbines of the San Roque Power Plant and can irrigate about 70,000 hectares of farmland in Pangasinan and the neighboring provinces of Nueva Ecija and Tarlac.

The winning bidder is China Agricultural Machinery Company (CAMC) based in China.

The funding is a loan from China Export Import Bank; construction is being undertaken by the winning bidder, China CAMC Engineering Co. Ltd. The project will be finished in three years.

Early this year, Arroyo inspected the rehabilitated dikes along the Agno river at barangay Carmen East in Rosales, which was damaged by Typhoon Pepeng last year.

Last February, she led the launching of the Aeronautical Highway of the North at the Binalonan airfield.

Just recently, the president, assisted by Esperon and Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino Jr. inspected the ongoing civic works at barangay Tumana, also in Rosales for the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX).

Esperon said the civic works was started first in Rosales (mid-portion of the TPLEX) as they did not have a problem on right-of-way concerns here.