DAR, NIA turn-over P13.64-M worth of irrigation projects in Palawan –

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) recently turned-over two (2) communal irrigation projects (CIPs), with a total cost P13.64-million, in the municipality of Roxas, in Northern part of Palawan.

The CIPs are built in the barangays of Mendoza and Abaroan through the cooperation of the DAR, NIA and the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Roxas.

The CIP in Barangay Mendoza is a newly completed facilities amounting to P10.3-million was received by the Mauranen Irrigators' Association of Brgy. Mendoza. The facilities are composed of intake structure, canal linings and five units of siphon.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) Ricardo Francisco said the Mendoza CIP, funded under Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project (ARISP), is expected to double the farm productivity that would greatly contribute to food sufficiency in the country and lead the farmers towards increased income in the area.

On the other hand, the P3.34 million communal irrigation project, funded under Agrarian Reform Regular Fund, was received by the Bantoto Irrigator's Group, a farmers' association under the umbrella of DAR-assisted Abaroan ARBs Multipurpose Cooperative in BarangayAbaroan.

"The CIP has now extended its service area to 166 hectares. The NIA has originally covered 140 hectares of farms in Barangay proper of Abaroan after it implemented the phases 1 and 2. As per NIA's data, farmers' rice harvests improved from 1,500 kilograms to 2,500 kilograms per hectare for they are now enjoying two cropping per year as compared to their mono-cropping practice in the area before," Francisco said.

"You are fortunate to have these communal irrigation systems. Take good care of these facilities and it will take good care of your farm produces " Roxas Mayor Angela Sabando said to the officers and members of Abaroan-Bantoto Irrigator's Group and Mauranen Irrigator's Association.

NIA Regional Manager for MIMAROPA Engineer Ramon Bugacia said that with proper use and maintenance, the irrigation structures are designed to withstand within 50 years' time. "It was aimed at servicing today's farmers and stand to benefit the next generations as well," he added.

The projects are part of the government's agricultural support to farmers to enable them to sustain their farming activities every year. Most farmers rely either on rainfall or natural water source to irrigate their ricefield. Some were fortunate enough to have their farm reached with flowing water from the spring, creeks and rivers but many farmers in the area has been rain-dependent to revegetate their dry fields and supply their growing crops with water.

PARPO Francisco said the DAR which leads the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the government is adept to accessing project-funding from local and foreign sources. Under the CARP, DAR collaborates with the DPWH in implementing farm-to-market roads that requires civil work component, and tap NIA for irrigation projects.

"The DAR, in consultation with the LGU for the required equity and after devising a plan with the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), initiates government interventions in the form of rural infrastructure projects and efforts toward agricultural developments," Francisco said.

Source: Philippine Information Agency