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 kinfolk in Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija. Right here, we got here throughout an attention-grabbing web site. We handed by means of a slim 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 positioning earlier than we head again to Gapan.
Irrigation has been practiced within the international locations for hundreds of years. It may be traced again in the course of 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 modern 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 number of the greater dams or irrigation methods within the nation. Few of them consists of 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 properly. It was accomplished in 1974. Only recently, one other dam mission was accomplished, the Higher Tabuating Dam in Normal Tinio, Nueva Ecija.  The mission 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 resist time and nonetheless serves its function. The Irrigation system is situated 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 Programs (NIA-UPRIIS), a government-owned and managed company primarily liable 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 finest recognized for the Minalungao Nationwide Park.  The Peñaranda Irrigation System, situated within the province of Nueva Ecija, is without doubt one of the Philippines’ largest and most profitable irrigation initiatives. It was initiated within the late Sixties, in the course of the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos, to deal with the challenges posed by water shortage within the area. The first goals of this mission have been to enhance agricultural productiveness, alleviate poverty, and guarantee meals safety for the nation.


The center 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, specifically: 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 superb support to farmlands, the Peñaranda River Irrigation System can be widespread amongst vacationers particularly throughout summer time. Throughout its heyday within the 80s, the positioning 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 great thing about the Peñaranda Dam. There’s additionally a White Fortress Business beginning the younger Lorna Tolentino with the Peñaranda dam on the background.



It’s attention-grabbing 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 consists of the development of cottages alongside the river, permitting locals to bond with their households whereas having fun with the gorgeous view of the river.




When the water just isn’t too excessive, locals used to swim within the river. We managed to see a bunch of youngsters having fun with the water of Peñaranda. It is probably not as stunning as earlier than (like what most individuals describe it) however it’s certainly value visiting.

In spite of everything, anybody can entry the Eco Park with no cost.

Whereas the Peñaranda Irrigation System has been a exceptional success, it faces ongoing challenges resembling 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 put up 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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