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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Chico River pump project expected to be finished by December 2021

Ambassador Huang Xilian inspected the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project through video conference

On June 23, Ambassador Huang Xilian held a video conference with China CAMC Engineering Co., Ltd, the contractor of the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project. He was briefed the progress of the project and then inspected the works of project resumption and pandemic prevention.

Ambassador Huang advised the contractor to take a targeted and scientific approach,suggesting that they modify their management strategies in accordance to the evolving pandemic situation and to try their utmost to ensure the safety of the employees. He asked them to adopt the most stringent standards and measures to prevent both the Chinese and Filipino employees from being infected and to actively fulfill their social responsibilities. Ambassador Huang also encouraged the contractor to overcome the current difficulties and to keep improving their plan, so as to complete the project at an earlier date and benefit the local people.

The Chico River Irrigation Project commenced on September 7, 2018. With the support of the Philippine National Irrigation Administration and other relevant agencies, the project was implemented smoothly and ahead of schedule. Due to the COVID-19, the project was temporarily suspended for three months.

Since May 5, the contractor has been steadily resuming the project by following the instructions of the local government and learning from the Chinese experiences. First, they adopted a closed loop management over the project site, strictly screened the health status of returning employees, and appointed the staff solely responsible for the procurement. Second, they provided sufficient anti-pandemic materials to all returning employees and sanitized the site every day. Third, they cooperated with the local community and established a health database of the employees for real-time detection and monitoring.

So far, about 400 Filipino employees have come back to work. 80% of the employees are now working on the project that has resumed 90% capacity, with no confirmed cases reported. Until the end of May, 47% of the contract had been completed, 2% ahead of the schedule. The project is expected to be completed in December 2021. At that time, the project will irrigate 8,700 hectares of farmland in Cagayan and Kalinga provinces, create jobs for the local community, improve crop yields through the increase of the multiple crop index, bring benefits to 4350 households, and make remarkable contribution to the local economy and the society.

Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian (upper left most photo) is briefed by the contractors at the Chico River pump project in a virtual inspection of the irrigation project expected to be finished by December 2021. (Chinese Embassy Photos)

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