The Bayongan Dam is a reservoir-type dam located at the heart of the municipality of San Miguel in Bohol, Philippines. The dam was built to augment the existing water supply for the farmlands of the municipalities of San Miguel, Ubay and Trinidad which has more or less 3,605 farmers tilling over 5,300 hectares of land. Hopefully, through the dam, the farmer’s living standards will be uplifted and the economic growth in the 2nd District of Bohol will be enhanced.
Construction of the dam went under so much controversy over its funding yet now that it is standing and complete, it has become a favorite hideaway of picnickers from the local vicinity and neighboring towns. From our barrio alone in Talibon, the Bayongan Dam is often a chosen destination during outings or group tours.
this photo and succeeding ones courtesy of Ragde Starr
And the town of San Miguel is earning from these visitors. The Local Government Unit of the town has put up a post at the junction where one enters the road that leads to the dam and collects an entrance fee of P10. However, there are other roads leading to the dam that are still open to the public. The LGU has to cordon or set up posts at these locations to control entry and maximize income for the town.
Desired water elevation for the dam is 52 meters with an estimated impounded water volume of 34.6-million cubic meters. This elevation was reached during the past rainy season; however, at the time of our visit on August 29, 2009, the water level was way below the chute where excess water was to flow out. This may be due to the dry spell that the area is experiencing.
It is said that Bayongan Dam relies upon excess water flowing from the Malinao Dam in Pilar but from what I read in the news, the Malinao Dam cannot even service its own fields at this time due to the dry spell which is also aggravated by the practice of unequal distribution of water and its wasteful use by the farmers themselves.
When and if ever the Bayongan Dam will regain its desired water level, there is still work to be done in the service areas. Ditches are still in the process of construction to allow water to flow efficiently to these areas. Leveling of land is also called for in some.
Thus, the farmers and the government should work hand in hand to finish these projects in time to be able to irrigate these targeted areas, increase production and achieve their dream of being the rice basket of Central Visayas. God loves communal work! He will take care of the rain!
Meanwhile, let the LGU think up of ways to earn additional income from the dam. The place is well visited. It is beautiful! A good view, tranquil surroundings and a cool breeze are factors which visitors seek for peace of mind and a change from humdrum living. And sunsets there are magnificent!
Maybe with native cottages, boating and fishing activities, foreigners will be attracted to stay longer. San Miguel may not know it….they have now a jewel in their midst!
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