Breaking Ground


     Even the Republic of Korea acknowledges Isabela’s tremendous agricultural prowess and its provincial government’s remarkable climate change adaptation initiatives.


    A high level delegation from the Korean Embassy led by Ambassador Lee Hyuk joined Sen. Grace Poe, Gov. Faustino Dy III, Vice Gov. Antonio Albano, Cong. Rodito Albano, DA Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and other local officials in gracing the groundbreaking ceremony for the “Adapting to Climate Change Impact through the Construction of Water Impounding Facilities in the Philippines” or Pasa Small River Irrigation Project (PSRIP) on  July 4, 2013 in Barangay Pasa, Ilagan City.


     Ambassador Lee announced that the project is the largest grant assistance provided by the Korean government to the Philippines with a total cost of US $22 million. “This project is an indication of Korea’s strong commitment in helping the Philippines achieve its goals, not just in terms of climate change but also on agricultural development and economic growth. The project will mitigate climate change by managing water resources and will likewise help farmer beneficiaries improve their agricultural productivity the effective usage of water impounding facilities”, he said.


    The PSRIP aims to reduce the adverse impact of climate change and enhance water management through the construction of an earth-filled dam, irrigation facilities, multi-purpose access roads and reforestation of watershed areas along the Pasa river in Ilagan City. Once completed, the project will irrigate 980 hectares of farm lands, provide forest cover to 465 hectares of agricultural lands and road access for transporting farm produce benefiting some 747 families in five barangays in Ilagan.


     In one of her very first official acts after topping the 2013 Senate polls, Senator Grace Poe – Llamanzares thanked the Korean Government on behalf of the Isabeliños. “Acts of goodwill between and among countries such as grants like this, are critical in building a peaceful and secure world. Thank you for your gift to the people of Isabela.”


     In 2008, the Government of Korea initiated a five-year program on East Asia Climate Change Partnership to strengthen cooperative and development strategies to address climate change in partner countries and bolster Green Growth in Asia. On January 18, 2013, President Benigno S. Aquino III approved for implementation the construction of the PSRIP after a meeting of the National Economic Development Authority – Investment Coordination Committee of which he is chair.


     The Provincial Government of Isabela has consistently earned awards for its serious efforts in climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness.