ILOCOS NORTE – In anticipation of the looming El Niño phenomenon in the country for the coming years, the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (DA-BAFE) recently conducted a topographic survey for proposed Small Scale Irrigation Projects (SSIPs).


According to PAGASA, El Niño will likely develop this year and may persist until 2024. El Niño increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions, which could bring adverse impacts, like dry spells and droughts, in certain areas of the country.


Upon the request of DA-RFO 1 Regional Executive Director Annie Q. Bares, DVM, the said survey was conducted by a team of engineers from the Engineering Plans, Designs, and Specifications Division (EPDSD) of DA-BAFE, which is mandated to conduct field surveys, site inspections, and validation of agricultural and fisheries infrastructure projects.


DA-RFO 1 Regional Executive Director Annie Q. Bares, DVM (center) welcomes the team of engineers from BAFE-EPDSD composed of (left to right) Engr. Renren Jay R. Pasia, Engr. Philip Francis C. Jagunap, and Engr. Romel A. Caballero. Also in the photo is Engr. Aerol Jake Candaroma  (rightmost) of the Regional Agricultural Engineering Division (RAED) of DA-RFO 1.


The BAFE-EPDSD team of engineers with the assistance of the Regional Agricultural Engineering Division (RAED) of DA Regional Field Office 1, conducted reconnaissance topographic survey and data gathering for the preparation of topographic maps, feasibility study (FS), and Detailed Engineering Design (DED) for the proposed irrigation projects in the said province.


The proposed irrigation projects include the construction of San Agustin Small Water Irrigation Project at Brgy. 21-San Agustin, San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte – survey for additional potential service area to maximize reservoir capacity and explore possible alternative dam site; and Construction of Lang-ayan Diversion Dam at Brgy. Lang-Ayan, Currimao, Ilocos Norte – survey of the uppermost portion of the stream as an alternative site for the diversion dam, and explore possible expansion of service area.


At the start of their five-day stay in the said province, the BAFE team paid a courtesy call to Dir. Bares to discuss the objectives of their survey and expected outputs that will be provided by BAFE. Dir. Bares mentioned that “our irrigation projects are very important since we are projecting a potential El Niño in the country for the coming years.”


Aerial shot with contour lines of Brgy. Lang-ayan, Currimao, Ilocos Norte Proposed Site for Diversion Dam and service area

The team also visited the Municipal Agriculture Office to discuss various activities that will be conducted in the proposed location and seek their assistance to guide the survey team.  The BAFE team conducted an aerial survey using drone and reconnaissance topographic survey of the watershed, service area, and canal lining using Real-Time Kinematic (RTK). These activities were essential in ensuring that these proposed irrigation projects are feasible and sustainable.


The travel concluded with an exit conference wherein the observations, findings, and recommendations of the field visits were presented to the Regional Executive Director and RAED for their information and guidance.


This topographic survey is an essential step towards ensuring that these proposed irrigation projects are feasible and sustainable. The BAFE team’s efforts aim to enhance agricultural productivity in Ilocos Norte. ###DA-BAFE ICTST

Edited by Mr. Marshall Louie Asis, MC

Report from Engr. Philip Francis C. Jagunap