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Marcos orders Magat Dam rehab

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday directed the National Irrigation Administration to modernize and rehabilitate the Magat Dam.

He gave the order during the inauguration of the P65.7-million Cabaruan solar-powered irrigation project in Quirino, Isabela.

Built during the administration of his father, Ferdinand Sr., Magat Dam is slowly deteriorating because of siltation, sedimentation, slash-and-burn farming, illegal logging, and fish caging.

«It needs rehabilitation. Let's improve it,» the President said. «Let's also put some solar panels if possible to modernize it.»

Built in 1975, Magat Dam is a major source of irrigation for 85,000 hectares of farmland in Cagayan Valley.

It also generates 540 megawatts of hydroelectric power.

Marcos said rehabilitating the dam would further unearth the potential of the Cagayan River, the longest river in the Philippines, because of the tributaries connected to it.