TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The Cordillera office of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA-CAR) revealed some P170 million was able to be salvaged from the P424 million funding previously earmarked for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Upper Chico river Irrigation System (UCRIS) to complete its proposed rehabilitation aimed at increasing its supposed service area.
Engr. John Cocalo, NIA-CAR regional irrigation manager, said the contract of the original contractor for the rehabilitation and upgrading of UCRIS is up for termination, thus, the agency will takeover the implementation of the project to make sure that the remaining funds will be used to improve the condition of the irrigation system.
“We have to takeover the project so that the remaining funds for the project will be wisely used to improve the condition of UCRIS to benefit more farmers from the projected increase in the service area of the system and improve the yield of farmers in Kalinga and some pars of Isabela,” Socalo stressed.
The NIA-CAR official said concerned technical personnel are preparing the detailed plans and specifications for the remaining works on the lining of the canal of the irrigation system so that more contractors will be encouraged to participate in the bidding process to complete the project by next year prior to the expiration of the implementation of the Participatory Irrigation Development Project (PIDP) of the agency.
The PIDP, which sources its funds from the World Bank (WB), was supposed to expire this month but it was extended up to August next year after concerned Palace officials were able to sign the extension documents right on time.
Socalo explained the contract for the remaining works will have to undergo the procurement process this year and works will start as soon as the water supply for the irrigation system will be cut off for at least two months next year.
According to him, there is a need for contractors to work double time once the project will be awarded to them so that all the programmed works will be completed on time for farmers to be able to benefit from the increase in the service areas of the irrigation system.
UCRIS provides abundant irrigation to more than 11,000 hectares of rice farms in Tabuk City, Kalinga and nearby Quezon, Isabela.
Originally, the foreign-assisted project was supposed to be completed last year but the contractor was delayed in the implementing their programmed works for various reasons that eventually extended the project to date.
Socalo underscored the concerned technical personnel must make sure that the programs of work to be implemented by winning contractors to avoid wastage in the utilization of the remaining funds of the project to allow farmers to benefit from the expanded services of the irrigation system serving their farms.