A top official of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) said the construction of the P18.4-billion Balog-Balog Multi-purpose Project (BBMP) would boost agricultural productivity and mitigate flooding in low-lying areas in Tarlac.
Vicente R. Vicmudo, BBMP project manager, said the project is programmed to irrigate 34,410 hectares of agricultural lands in the province.
Vicmudo said that while Tarlac has 102,000 hectares in agricultural lands, which makes it a major production center in Central Luzon, only 32,670 hectares are presently irrigated, the lowest irrigation development percentage-wise among the seven provinces in the region.
Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Aurora and Pampanga have considerably high percentage of irrigation development, each reaching up to 70 percent.
“Nueva Ecija and Bulacan are tied at first in terms of the percentage of irrigation development at 74 percent each while Tarlac is dead-last, mired in seventh place with a lowly 29 percent irrigation output,” Vicmudo said, citing statistics from the NIA’s corporate planning division.
Nueva Ecija, the region’s rice granary and onion bowl, has total irrigable area of 208,640 hectares of which 155,422 hectares are service areas while Bulacan has a total irrigable area of 51,970 hectares of which 38,225 hectares are service areas.