Dams are purposely created to hold water back/store water for irrigation, control flooding, and in some parts, generate electricity. In the town of Ubay in Bohol, their dam also holds qualities that may boost the town’s tourism capabilities.
The Benliw Dam in Brgy. Benliw, Ubay is a newly completed irrigation facility in the province and is deemed to critically boost the region’s rice production. Being one of the small reservoir impounding projects (SRIP), the irrigation would increase farmers’ average harvest per hectare to 5,146 tons from the current 455 tons.
But more than just being an aide to the region’s agriculture industry, it can also boost agro-tourism in the place. Agro-tourism is a commercial enterprise in an agricultural area conducted for the enjoyment of visitors that generates supplemental income. Benliw dam is seen with great potentials as an agro-tourism destination due to its breathtaking view. Across the wide and tranquil waters are rolling verdant hills and the blue skies as the backdrop. The scene is just refreshing and calming that it can serve as a perfect spot for your afternoon or early morning stroll.
Benliw SRIP includes the construction of a “21-meter-high zoned earth fill dam with a length of 517 meters, a reservoir with a catchment area of 5.60 square kilometers that can store 2.86 million cubic meters (mcm) of water, irrigation and drainage canals, and other appurtenant structures.” Its water sources come from Pasana Creek.
Being a medium-scale irrigation development project with total estimated cost of P645 million, Benliw SRIP is expected to provide timely and reliable water supply to 400 hectares of agricultural land in barangays of Benliw, Emelda, Cagting, and Sinandigan, benefitting 600 farmers and their families.
In an online report, NIA 7 Regional Manager Engr. Modesto Membreve shared that the water impounding could also serve as a venue for aquaculture, power generation, water supply and soil conservation. A dam in the region would also help the communities in their flood control and mitigation.
For many years now, Bohol is self-sufficient in rice and have ‘exported’ some to nearby provinces. Despite this, only half of the rice lands in this region is served by four huge dams; the rest depended on rain including those farmers in the catchment area that is now covered by the Benliw Dam. Cabinet secretary Leoncio Evasco said that they will not have to rely on the rains now that the facility is completed.
There is also another dam in this town, the Capayas Dam, which is considered as one of the largest dams in the province and is located along the national highway in Brgy. Bay-ang, Ubay. It serves as the major source of water supply in the town for home use and irrigation. Other interesting places in this town includes the Ubay Stock Farm, Bohol Experimental Station, and the Ubay Agri-Park.
HOW TO GET THERE?
Exact location: Brgy. Benliw, Ubay, Bohol
BY COMMUTE: If travelling from Cebu, you need to get to Ubay first by boat. From Ubay port, take a tricycle or a habal-habal to Brgy. Benliw.
BY CAR: Navigate with Waze or Google Maps and set your destination to “Benliw Dam” in Ubay, Bohol.