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Marcos admin eyes building 20 new dams by 2028

MANILA, Philippines — To meet the country’s growing demand for water and power, the government is eyeing to build 20 medium and three to five large dams by 2028, the end of President Marcos’ term, according to National Irrigation Administration (NIA) head Eduardo Guillen.

During a sectoral briefing at Malacañang yesterday, Guillen said Marcos told the NIA that he preferred the construction of high, multipurpose dams in the Philippines.

“What our President wants now is for us to build high dams so that we have a long-term solution. Because he said when you have a high dam, you have irrigation, you have flood control, you have power generation, domestic water, there is aquaculture,” Guillen said.

The NIA is targeting to build dams such as the Tumauini Dam in Isabela, as well as dam projects in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, he added.

In the Visayas, the NIA is building the Jalaur Dam and other projects in the Panay River Basin in addition to smaller or medium-sized dams.

High dams or those with a height of 100 meters could also be used for tourism, Guillen noted.

Most of the country’s dams were built 50 years ago or during the time of the President’s father, he recalled.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t follow that up with other projects like that,” Guillen said.

Marcos expects four large dams to be finished by 2028, the last year of his administration.

These are the P8.6-billion Tumauini River Multipurpose Project in Isabela; the P19-billion Panay River Basin Integrated Development Project in Iloilo, composed of the Panay High Dam and the Panay Afterbay Dam, a high line canal and a floodway component; the P22.7-billion Ilocos Norte-Ilocos Sur-Abra Irrigation Project II and the P9-billion Ilocos Sur Transbasin Project. — Helen FLores, Bella Cariaso, Patrick Miguel, Alexis Romero