President Duterte to lead switch-on ceremony of PHP5-M solar-powered irrigation system in North Cotabato

M'LANG, North Cotabato-- President Rodrigo Duterte is set to lead the official switch-on ceremony of the first PHP5-million prototype solar powered irrigation system in remote Barangay New Janiuay here on February 3, a top official here said Tuesday.

Vice Mayor Joselito PiAol said President Duterte, who is expected to arrive at the project site around 2 p.m., would be welcomed by local officials from various towns in North Cotabato and neighboring provinces along with farmer beneficiaries of the project.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) funded the solar - powered project through DA Secretary Emmanuel PiAol who requested the help of a California-based Filipino-American friend during his visit in California to develop a prototype solar irrigation system for the upland areas of North Cotabato.

Secretary PiAol served as a mayor of this town for 3 years before he was elected as a governor of the province and eventually becoming DA chief after retiring from politics.

The solar-powered irrigation facility could pump out at least 600 to 800 gallons of water per minute, which is more than enough to water some 3-4 hectares of rice field in a day.

At least 50 pieces of solar panels were also installed that could enable the facility to operate even on nighttime.

The project would also serve as model for future similar projects that would be established in agricultural areas that depend on rain as source of water for irrigation.

Initially, some 200 local farmers in the village and adjacent areas would benefit from the project. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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