The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has completed 158 projects covering 4,061 hectares (has) of farmlands in the province, benefiting 13,120 farmers in the province, in 2018 and 2019.
In an interview Monday, Oscar Navata, information officer of NIA Ilocos regional office, said these irrigation projects were funded with PHP1.40 billion.
In 2018, NIA constructed 78 irrigation projects funded with PHP639.60 million covering 1,310 has of farmlands and benefiting 3,950 farmers in the province, he said.
He added some 80 projects were built last year worth PHP764.57 million for 2,751 hectares of farmland in the province, benefiting 9,170 farmers.
Major projects were in towns of Aguilar, Mangatarem, Sta. Barbara, and San Fabian in 2018; Laoac, Sison, Sta. Maria, Sta. Barbara, Malasiqui, and San Fabian in 2019, Navata said.
This year, he said, some 31 projects have been lined up that will cover 295 has of farmlands in Pozorrubio and Mangatarem, which will benefit 983 farmers.
Meanwhile, the local government unit (LGU) of Asingan town has requested NIA to build a mini-dam here that would provide irrigation to some 100 hectares of farmlands.
Asingan Mayor Carlos Lopez Jr. said NIA has already conducted ocular inspection in the area in the past days.
The mini-dam, if approved, will be built among the quad-boundaries of Barangays Ariston East, Ariston West, Bantog, and Baro, he said in an interview last week.
The proposed mini-dam will be built along the nearby Agno River, which is only adjacent to said barangays, he added.
Following the ocular inspection, Lopez said NIA pledged to begin construction as soon as they finished the mini-dam's design and proposal.
They cannot estimate the budget as of now. But once the proposal has been accepted, construction will immediately begin, he said.
He added NIA built an irrigation canal from 2009 to 2014. However, no water comes down from the re-regulating pond located at San Roque Dam in the nearby town of San Manuel, thus the need for a mini-dam.
The water from the pond does not reach us anymore, as farmlands upstream already use it in their own areas, leaving us with none, Lopez said.
Farmers in his town, he said, only rely on digging up deep wells in their farms in search of water sources, resulting in more money spent to purchase equipment and gas.
Source: Philippines News Agency