BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
A P2 billion irrigation highway, described by Mayor Ernesto Estrao, as a “mega project”, will be constructed soon in Hinobaan, Negros Occidental.
Estrao, who is completing his three-year term as Hinobaan mayor next year, said yesterday that the mega project was included in the Annual Investment Plan of the town, approved and endorsed by the Provincial and Regional Development Councils that he had been pushed during his second term in office under the administration of the late Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., and materialized during the term of incumbent Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson.
The project will convert Tiabanan River in Brgy. Asia, Hinobaan into a highway irrigation that will irrigate 2,000 hectares in barangays Daug, Bulwangan, Asia, Alim, San Rafael, and Bacuyangan in the town, and Brgy. Nabulao in Sipalay City.
The highway irrigation canal will cover 39 kilometers of concrete road, he added.
A hydroelectric plant will also rise at the Tiabanan River that can generate P2.4MW of power, and potable water, Estrao added.
The project already has an initial funding under the General Appropriations Act for feasibility study, survey, and social preparations.
Estrao said that in the consultations conducted recently, there was no opposition from affected families, who will be relocated and compensated by the national government.
But he said he anticipates opposition from non-residents, just like what happened to the Tsuneishi project, that was cancelled by the investor. Estrao said he expects the infrastructure preparations by the National Irrigation Administration, as referred to by the Department of Agriculture, upon approval of the program of works by President Rodrigo Duterte.*