SAN MANUEL -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo made a brief visit or inspection Tuesday at San Roque Multi-Purpose Dam's (SRMPD) re- regulating pond project (RRPP), the construction of which started last November 2009.

The re-regulating pond is a component of the Agno River Integrated Irrigation Project (Ariip). It is expected to provide year-round water supply and irrigate about 70,000 hectares of farm land once completed.

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“We thank China and Japan where we got our loans; we should thank the investors, the construction companies and the construction workers. In 2003, we inaugurated the dam and the flood control system, now we are inspecting the irrigation component,” Arroyo stated.

The SRMPD has four components, namely: power, flood control, irrigation, and quality control.

“The irrigation system, which our administration started, has finished 10,000 hectares of irrigation canals. Now, we are inspecting the re-regulating pond which has been started (construction) last November, it will be finished in 2013. The irrigation area will become 70,000 hectares,” she added.

The Ariip, located in the province of Pangasinan, covers 18 municipalities and cities in Pangasinan covering four congressional districts (3, 4, 5, and 6).

The re-regulating pond area is 85 hectares and it can contain 4.6-million cubic meters of water.

Aside from the re-regulating pond, Ariip project scope includes the repair of the existing San Roque diversion weir and intake; construction of a canal at the right bank of the Agno River Irrigation System; and the construction of siphon across Agno River that will link the main canal of lower Agno River Irrigation System.

As stated, the Ariip is one of Arroyo's legacy projects that is expected to increase per capita income, upgrade the living standards of the populace and generate employment opportunities in the region.

ARIIP Project Manager Reynaldo Mencias presented to the president a project briefing.

Also present Tuesday were former Secretary Hermogenes Esperon Jr. (who in November led the groundbreaking of the RRPP with then Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap), newly appointed Agriculture Secretary Bernardo Fondevilla and officials from the National Irrigation Administration; sixth district Representative Conrado Estrella III, San Manuel Mayor Salvador Perez and Ilocos Police Director Constante Azares Jr.