The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) said it has turned over P3.5-billion worth of completed irrigation projects to organized irrigators’ association nationwide.
NIA Administrator Florencio F. Padernal said the agency, under Office of the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization (Opafsam), distributed 402 projects, 166 of which are national irrigation systems and 236 are communal irrigation systems, such as dams, main and sublateral canals, canal structures and drainage facilities.
The projects are expected to benefit 48,234 farmers and cover 124,633.54 hectares of service area nationwide.
Region 13 received the highest allocation of projects in terms of value at P558.11 million for 18 projects. This is followed by Region 1 with 18 projects worth P439.29 million. Region 10 received 10 irrigation projects valued at a total of P365.52 million.
The Cordillera Administrative Region received the most number of projects at 69, which are worth P170.19 million.
Padernal and Opafsam Secretary Francis N. Pangilinan led the ceremonial turnover of the completed projects in Pasay City on Thursday.
“The government is working double time to give the much-needed support to our farmers in feeding the nation. The NIA, under the Opafsam, will not tire until we reduce or eradicate the irrigation gap in the country,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
Padernal also said the agency has a 10-year “master plan” to address the backlog in the country’s irrigated areas, which is at 2.4 million hectares.
“After today’s mass turnover, about 57 percent of the total irrigable area of 6.1 million hectares are now with irrigation. Only 43 percent more has to be attended to. Hence, [we have] the 10-year irrigation master plan to rationalize the implementation planning of irrigation facilities,” Padernal said.