CAR irrigators convene in Apayao

SANTA MARCELA, Apayao – Fun, fabulous and fruitful describe this year’s annual convention of the Cordillera Administrative Region Federation of Irrigators’ Associations (CARFIA) held in this province on October 25-26, 2018.

The two-day convention was attended by more than a hundred farmer-leaders from the six provinces of Cordillera and Quezon, Isabela served by the Upper Chico River Irrigation System of Kalinga.

Though tired and overwhelmed from the hassles of a ten-hour travel to Apayao, participants to the convention, most of whom are senior citizens, were still active and attentive during the opening program and activities on October 25 at the Walai Farm Resort, Brgy. Sipa, Sta. Marcela, Apayao.

“The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) is here to provide farmers with efficient irrigation service. Also, the agency continues to provide assistance, trainings, and other development programs to our irrigators’ associations,” assured Ms. Pilipina Bermudez, Department Manager of the NIA Public Affairs and Information Staff (PAIS) who addressed the CARFIA on behalf of NIA Administrator, Gen Ricardo Visaya (Ret), the guest of honor during the activity.

Heads of the provincial irrigators’ associations reported their accomplishments and activities for 2018, among which are preparation of List of Irrigated and Planted Area (LIPA), meetings, trainings, canal clearing, tree planting, coordination activities and bayanihan activities after Typhoon Ompong.

Meanwhile, Engr. Benito T. Espique, Jr., Acting Regional Manager of NIA-CAR, lauded the farmer-irrigators for their hard work and for being active players in irrigation development and food security programs of the government. He urged them to continue with their unity as embodied in their theme “United Irrigators’ Associations for a better future.”

The afternoon was capped by a raffle draw as part of the association’s fund-raising activity.

“We thank the NIA, Department of Agriculture and other government agencies for their continued support to the farmers in the Cordillera,” Albano said. Aside from irrigation, farmers have availed of the government support programs of the Department of Agriculture (DA) such as farm equipment and machineries.

The regional director of the Cordillera office of the DA, Cameron Odsey, the guest speaker for the second day-activity on October 26, urged the farmers to be transparent and cohesive, not only in availing government programs but most especially during the implementation of projects including the utilization of farm machineries and equipment provided by the government.

The farmers present during the activity, through the CAR Federation of Irrigators’ Associations   availed of the Accident and Dismemberment insurance coverage from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC).

Also, information on SSS programs were also shared during the activity.

Cordillera farmers proved that they are not only talented in feeding the growing population but are also first-class kings and queens in their own right with men and women farmer-representatives from Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province and UCRIS-Quezon, Isabela wowing the audience with their talents and wit during the Search for Mr. and Ms. Irrigators’ Association.

To the question “Importante ba iti Irrigators’ Association? Apay?” (Is the Irrigators’ Association important? Why?), all contestants acceded to the importance of an irrigators’ association (IA) being the united front and bridge of the farmers in seeking help and assistance from government offices.

President of Pagtamdan ti Apayao Confederation of IA, CARFIA President and Vice Governor of Apayao, Hon. Remy Albano, was adjudged King of CARFIA 2018 while his wife, Ms. Virginia Albano, was crowned Queen of CARFIA 2018.

The first runners-up were President Francisco Andumang and Ms. Edna Aben of UCRIS Quezon Mallig Federation of IA; and, second runners-up were Mr. Bernardo Cadingan and Ms. Janet Gasmin of Wagufi Federation of IA (Ifugao).

Meanwhile, Darlings of the Crowd were President Domingo Awas and Ms. Ester Caga of Benguet Farmers Federation of IA; Mr. and Ms. NIA’s Choice Awards were conferred to Mr. Micheal Lumas-i and his wife, Ms. Angeline Lumas-i who are both members of UCRIS Tabuk-Pinukpuk Federation of IA; Mr. and Ms. Smart were Fr. Fernando Boyagan and Ms. Helen Viado of Abra Timpuyog Daguiti Farmers IA; Most Photogenic Awards were conferred to Mr. Joel Cadwising and Ms. Crystal Maloy of Montañosa Federation of IA. Candidates of Benguet and Ifugao garnered the Best Presentation Awards.

Photo from NIA-CAR Facebook Page

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