Philippines Launches Its Largest Solar-Powered Pump Irrigation Project

(Photo courtesy of Malacañang Press Corps)

Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. inaugurated the Cabaruan Solar-Powered Pump Irrigation Project (SPIP) in Quirino town, Isabela, the biggest solar-powered pump irrigation system in the country.

The Cabaruan SPIP, a project of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) under the Mangat River Integrated Irrigation System (MARIIS), was constructed from July 6, 2023 to February 2024 with a total project cost of PHP 65.77 million.

The system is powered by 1,056 solar panels that can produce 739,200 watts of power for its two submersible pumps, with each pump capable of discharging 12,800 gallons per minute,

It is the biggest solar-powered pump irrigation project in the Philippines, and is expected to irrigate 350 hectares of rice field, benefitting almost 237 palay farmers. In his speech at the launch, Marcos said farmers would be able to save and benefit from the project’s strategic design.

The President said a total of 15 mass solar-powered pump irrigation projects and two small solar-powered irrigation projects have earlier been distributed by NIA in the Cagayan Valley Region.

In total, Marcos said, the government has already finished 82 solar-powered pump irrigation projects across the country since 2023.

The solar pumps were part of NIA’s project meant to expand the irrigated areas in the country pursuant to President Marcos’ commitment to boost agricultural production, particularly of rice.

Irrigation is a major component of producing rice, corn and other agricultural products in other parts of the country as well.