The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) which implements the P4.37-billion Chico River Pump Irrigation Project in Pinukpuk, Kalinga, clarifies that the 66 Chinese workers hired by the Chinese contractor are highly-technical and highly-skilled necessary in the construction of the tunnel and pumping station, which completion is set before the end of this year. Once completed, the services of most of these Chinese workers will be terminated.
Currently, Chico River PIP has 347 Filipino workers, mostly hired from the area. The Chinese workers are part of the project’s manpower that specializes in tunneling and construction of the pumping station with their state-of-the-art equipment and technology. Filipino workers maybe capable enough of doing this, but the collaboration with Chinese workers makes the work faster, thus shortening the construction period.
This clarification is made after the Cordillera People’s Alliance showed a video that there are Chinese workers seen at the project site. This might have led Mike Cabangon of Kilusang Mayo Uno-Cordillera to say that this is a huge insult for the Filipino workers. Mr. Cabangon should have verified his observations before arriving at his conclusion.
Chico River PIP will irrigate elevated rice fields through a pumping station, and not through a diversion dam or a reservoir, contrary to what several opposing groups say that this project will pose danger to residents of the locality. The water from the river will flow through a tunnel system until it reaches the main canals at the elevated rice-fields.
NIA assures that there are no oppositions from the affected communities of the Chico River PIP. Displaced families are supportive of the project and were fairly compensated. The LGUs and other stakeholders are well-informed on the development of the project.
Chico River PIP has a total service area of 8,700 hectares to be provided with a substantial and timely water supply for irrigation. A total of 4,350 farmer-beneficiaries and their families will benefit from this project. It is projected to provide 14,784 jobs during its project implementation and 8,700 permanent jobs when it becomes operational.
**For questions and/or clarifications, you may contact:
PILIPINA P. BERMUDEZ, CESE
Department Manager A
NIA Public Affairs and Information Staff
Mobile: 0995 251 7847