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The Peñaranda River Irrigation System of Nueva Ecija

Final yr, we went to my brother-in-law’s hometown in Nueva Ecija. We took benefit of the Holy Week break and explored the city as a lot as we will. After dropping off in Gapan, we went to go to some kin in Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija. Right here, we got here throughout an fascinating website. We handed by means of a slender concrete bridge and noticed a fully-functioning dam, the Peñaranda River Irrigation System. Fortunately, I managed to satisfied my household to verify and go to the location earlier than we head again to Gapan.
Irrigation has been practiced within the international locations for hundreds of years. It may be traced again through the Spanish occupation when giant estates developed a community of communal irrigation system to assist out farmers. . The Peñaranda Irrigation System within the Philippines stands as a shining instance of how progressive irrigation infrastructure can remodel arid landscapes into thriving agricultural hubs.


An previous photograph exhibiting the Penaranda dam. Credit score: Kasaysayang Nueva Ecija

Nueva Ecija is the house of a few of the larger dams or irrigation programs within the nation. Few of them contains the well-known Pantabangan Dam which is taken into account one of many largest in Southeast Asia and is without doubt one of the cleanest reservoirs as effectively. It was accomplished in 1974. Only recently, one other dam venture was accomplished, the Higher Tabuating Dam in Common Tinio, Nueva Ecija.  The venture was accomplished in 2020, boosting the rice harvest of the province.

Peñaranda River Irrigation System is probably not as enormous because the aforementioned dams however it managed to face up to time and nonetheless serves its goal. The Irrigation system is positioned in San Josef, Peñaranda. The development of the dam started in 1925 and was accomplished in 1930, making Peñaranda River Irrigation System not simply one of many oldest but in addition one of many largest dams in Luzon.

The Peñaranda River Irrigation System is supervised and administered by the Nationwide Irrigation Administration -Higher Pampanga River Built-in Irrigation Methods (NIA-UPRIIS), a government-owned and managed company primarily accountable for irrigation improvement and administration in provinces like Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, and Tarlac.
The primary supply of provide for PenRIS or the Peñaranda River Irrigation System is in fact the Peñaranda River which might be greatest recognized for the Minalungao Nationwide Park.  The Peñaranda Irrigation System, positioned within the province of Nueva Ecija, is without doubt one of the Philippines’ largest and most profitable irrigation tasks. It was initiated within the late Sixties, through the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos, to deal with the challenges posed by water shortage within the area. The first goals of this venture have been to enhance agricultural productiveness, alleviate poverty, and guarantee meals safety for the nation.


The guts of the Peñaranda Irrigation System is its in depth canal community, which spans over 24,000 hectares. This community attracts water from the Pampanga River and redistributes it to the farmlands of Nueva Ecija. As of 2020, the dam remains to be assembly its water provide, serving 15,806 farmer-beneficiaries in three provinces, the Peñaranda Dam caters one metropolis and 6 municipalities, particularly: Gapan Metropolis, Peñaranda, Cabiao and San Isidro in Nueva Ecija, San Miguel and San Ildefonso in Bulacan, and Arayat and Candaba in Pampanga.


Photograph: Gandang Nueva Ecija

Except for being a wonderful assist to farmlands, the Peñaranda River Irrigation System can be widespread amongst vacationers particularly throughout summer time. Throughout its heyday within the 80s, the location has develop into a well-liked place to shoot numerous films.
dante varona patron

Right here’s an intimate scene of actor Dante Varona and his main girl within the film Patron (1988) showcasing the fantastic thing about the Peñaranda Dam. There’s additionally a White Fort Business beginning the younger Lorna Tolentino with the Peñaranda dam on the background.



It’s fascinating to notice that the Peñaranda River Irrigation System went by means of a rehabilitation final 2019. An Eco Park was constructed through the DILG Efficiency Problem Fund (PCF) program. These contains the development of cottages alongside the river, permitting locals to bond with their households whereas having fun with the attractive view of the river.




When the water will not be too excessive, locals used to swim within the river. We managed to see a gaggle of youngsters having fun with the water of Peñaranda. It is probably not as lovely as earlier than (like what most individuals describe it) however it’s absolutely price visiting.

In any case, anybody can entry the Eco Park with no cost.

Whereas the Peñaranda Irrigation System has been a outstanding success, it faces ongoing challenges corresponding to upkeep, siltation, and local weather change impacts. To make sure its continued effectiveness, modernization efforts are wanted, together with the incorporation of good irrigation applied sciences and sustainable water administration practices.


This publish is a part of my Nueva Ecija Escapade collection. Be at liberty to revisit my earlier entries right here:

You may additionally need to go to these articles

References: UPRIIS / Water, Works and Wages / Inquirer / NIA – UPRIIS /

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