LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Cordillera office of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA-CAR) revealed that some P1.36 billion has been earmarked by the agency for the sustained implementation of numerous irrigation-related projects regionwide to boost the agricultural production of farmers in the agriculture-producing provinces next year.
Engr. John Socalo, NIA-CAR regional irrigation manager, said 70 percent of the funds will be utilized for the rehabilitation and upgrading of communal irrigation projects in the region while 20 percent of the funding support from the national government will be used up for the improvement of the services of the agency’s national irrigation facilities located in Kalinga, Ifugao and Apayao.
Further, he added 10 percent of the funds will be devoted for the conduct of feasibility studies for their future projects while some P300 million will be devoted for the convergence initiatives of the NIA-CAR with other regional line agencies.
“We are quite lucky next year because we received a huge amount of funds for the sustained implementation of our mandate which is to provide adequate irrigation to our farmers in the different parts of the region. We believe we are in the right track of increasing the number of irrigable areas beneficial to the interest of more farmers regionwide,” Socalo stressed.
The NIA-CAR official disclosed some P65 million was also part of the agency’s budget next year for the continuous implementation of the Marimay small river irrigation project in Apayao while another P50 million will be set aside for the continuous implementation of the Alfonso Lista pump irrigation project in Ifugao.
According to him, the P50 million funding for the Alfonso Lista pump irrigation project this year will beaded to the P50 million appropriation for the similar project next year to complete the more important portions of the project to make it operational by the next several years.
He expressed confidence that the agency will have the absorptive capacity to implement the programmed projects of the NIA next year so that more funding could also be accessed by the agency in future allocation of funds for their priority projects.
Socalo called on the agency’s partners in the implementation of their projects to cooperate with the policies that will be crafted by the new leadership to help boost the growth of agriculture in the countryside.