As we all know by now, the Philippines’ landscape consists of numerous valleys. This makes it an ideal hub for agriculture, one of the reasons why we’re known for our produce. 

However, even though the country’s land area is most suitable for farming, our weather patterns are a different story. Due to our proximity to the equator and the Pacific Ocean, which is considered to be the warmest of the world’s five oceans, our crops often suffer from El Niño. 

For those unaware, El Niño is characterized as a climate pattern that causes the unusual warming of surface waters, which hastens evaporation. The Philippines regularly suffers from this weather phenomenon, causing a shortage of water supply for farmlands. 

To combat this, the government invested in the construction of various water reservoirs across the archipelago—one of which is Magat Dam. 

Get to know more about this amazing Philippine structure by scrolling through our list of trivia below!

  • It’s almost 40 years old. 

The construction of Magat Dam started in 1978. After four years, the structure was finished. And a year after, it started operations. 

It’s connected to the Magat River, which is a major tributary of the Cagayan River. 

  • Its construction was ordered by then-President Ferdinand Marcos. 

Former President Ferdinand Marcos ordered the construction of Magat Dam through Presidential Decree No. 693 signed on May 7, 1975. However, it wasn’t until three years later that construction for the water reservoir officially began.

  • It’s a first in Southeast Asia. 

Magat Dam is credited with being the first multipurpose dam in Southeast Asia. It functions as the primary source of irrigation for 85,000 hectares (210,000 acres) of agricultural land, acts as a flood controller, and is an energy-generating unit through the Magat Hydroelectric Power Plant.

  • It cost US$3.4-billion to build. 

The project was financed by the Philippine administration, the World Bank (US$150M), and a loan from the Bahrain Government (US$9M). 

  • It underwent rehabilitation in 2006. 

Under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration, Magat Dam underwent significant repair works. The rehabilitation focused on extending the viability of the water reservoir, which was only designed to last for 50 years. 

Want more news like this one? Head over to Nation Builder PH Featured Story Section for the latest updates.

Image credit: National Irrigation Administration’s Official Website