071320 rampump

by Secretary Emmanuel Piñol
Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

On Thursday, July 16, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) will present to Bukidnon Governor Jose Zubiri the initial inputs of a Master Plan to transform four towns of the province into a major vegetable and high-value crops production area of the country.

Aside from the drone-generated digital geo-map which will identify watershed areas, headwaters, production areas, proposed road networks and product consolidation points, MinDA will also present to the local officials and farmer-stakeholders sustainable irrigation systems.

I will introduce the Solar-Powered Irrigation System (SPIS) which was adopted by the Department of Agriculture when I was Secretary and brief farmers on its benefits.

The most awaited presentation, however, will be made by Auke Idzenga, a Negros Occidental-based Dutch national married to an Ilongga for over 30 years now.

Auke, whose Alternative Initiatives Development Foundation Inc. (AIDFI) won a Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2011, will present the potentials of the Hydraulic Ram Pump Irrigation Systems for the upland areas of Mindanao, starting with Bukidnon.

While the Hydraulic Ram Pump is a 240-year-old technology invented by French Joseph Michel Montgolfier, Auke has introduced innovations which allows the installation of bigger pumps capable of pumping 20,000 liters a day to a height of up to 200-meters.

I have actually seen a smaller version of the Ram Pump in the Galilee Farm of the Catholic Missionary Congregation Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Antipas, North Cotabato managed by Fr. Yves Caroff, now deceased.

Informed of a bigger system in Sitio Anangue, Buenavista, Murcia, Negros Occidental which could be ideal for the upland areas of Mindanao, I decided to take a long and difficult land trip to Negros Occidental last week.

From downtown Bacolod City, we went up to the mountains of Murcia and walked for about 8 kilometers back and forth so that I could personally appreciate the operation of the Hydraulic Ram Pumps.

What I saw really amazed me and I was convinced that finally, I have found the solution to the problems of our upland communities which lack water for household use and agricultural production.

The long hike to Sitio Anangue was tiresome but it was a rewarding adventure.

This is what I love about moving around the country. The problems that I encounter fire me up to find solutions and more often than not there are practical solutions just waiting to be discovered and appreciated.

MinDA will engage AIDFI in the development of the four vegetable production towns now referred to as the IMTASULA Complex with the establishment of the first Hydraulic Ram Pump in Barangay Miarayon, Talakag, Bukidnon within the next two months.

From there, we will explore which other upland areas in Mindanao would need the Hydraulic Ram Pumps and make sure that people will benefit from the Mindanao Water Supply Program of MinDA.

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