The Chico River Pump Irrigation Project Financed by Chinese Government Concessional Loan Breaks Ground in Kalinga
2018-06-08 18:22

On 8 June 2018, the ground breaking ceremony of the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project funded by Chinese Government's concessional loan was held in Kalinga, Cordillera Administrative Region.

The ceremony was graced by Chinese Embassy Commercial Counsellor Jin Yuan, together with National Irrigation Authority (NIA) Administrator Ricardo Visaya, Kalinga Governor Jocel Baac, Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba and other members of the local government and media.

In his remarks, Counsellor Jin Yuan said, "China and the Philippines have greatly improved bilateral ties since President Duterte visited China in 2016. Up till now, President Xi Jinping and President Duterte have met five times on both bilateral and multilateral occasions, setting the course for a win-win and sound growth of China-Philippines Relations. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang paid an official visit to the Philippines in November last year, further boosting the strong momentum of the good-neighborly friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries. Under the strategic guidance of leaders of both countries, great potential for cooperation have been unleashed and rich outcomes have been reaped. The Chico River Pump Irrigation Project is one of the major achievements. "

"The two drug rehabilitation centers in Mindanao assisted by Chinese grants started construction in last January and February, and the two bridges across Pasig River under Chinese grant in Manila will start construction at the end of this month. Meanwhile, the two sides are discussing the second basket of infrastructure cooperation projects worth USD $10 billion to be funded by Chinese soft loans," he highlighted.

"The Chinese side will spare no efforts to build this project and make it a symbol of China-Philippines Friendship… I firmly believe that China-Philippines strategic mutual trust is bound to be much stronger and economic cooperation even closer. China together with the Philippines will continue to steer the ship of building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road towards a brighter future," he added.

For the Philippine side, NIA Administrator Ricardo Visaya expressed gratitude and promised their unwavering support to further develop the Philippines in the future.

"To the People's Republic of China who unfailingly supports the projects of the Philippine government, especially to this irrigation project, thank you very much… let us continue to work hand in hand so that we may break more grounds for irrigation soon," said Visaya.

As the flagship infrastructure project to be financed by China's soft loan under President Duterte's ambitious "Build, Build, Build" program, the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project is worth USD $73 million and will involve the installation of pumps, the construction of pumping station, irrigation canals, facilities, and other appurtenant structures, covering the Municipalities of Tuao, Piat and Pinukpuk. Upon completion within three years, it will provide a stable supply of water to around 8700 hectares of agricultural land, benefiting 4350 households in 21 barangays in the Kalinga Province and Cagayan Province in Northern Luzon and create hundreds of employment opportunities for the local people.

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