LINGAYEN, Pangasinan Governor Amado I. Espino, III recently led the seeding of about 300,000 tilapia fingerlings at the mouth of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) re-regulating pond in San Roque, San Manuel town.
Governor Espino, along with executives of NIA – Region 1 led by Engr. Frida Nidoy, San Roque power corporation vice president for corporate affairs Tom Valdez, Pangasinan Federation of Irrigators’ Associations (PFIA) president Oftociano Manalo and other leaders of the Agnor River Irrigation System (ARIS) led the dispersal of fresh water tilapia fingerlings which were sourced out from the fish hatcheries of the provincial government and from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
Intended to increase tilapia population for fish capture of marginalized fisherfolk in the lower streams of ARIS, the fingerlings dispersal launched during the administration of former Pangasinan governor and now 5th district Representative Amado T. Espino, III, is sustained by the present provincial administration, owing to its contribution to increased agricultural productivity and livelihood generation.
“Aside from the aggressive efforts undertaken by the provincial government for the protection and preservation of the rivers systems in the province, we also vow to sustain the enrichment of resources for the benefit of marginalized fisherfolk,” Governor Espino emphasized during the fish dispersal activity.
“Monitoring activities of the Task Force Kalikasan along our rivers will also be tightened to safeguard our natural resources from harm and degradation,” he added.
Governor Espino said that mass dispersal of tilapia fingerlings will also be conducted in central and western parts of the province.
Assuring all-out support to farmers in the province, Governor Espino said that the province has allocated Php15-M intended for the construction of irrigation projects and support facilities. A Php5-M supplemental budget will be lobbied to the provincial board for the same allocation.
It can be recalled that last week, the governor awarded shallow tube wells and farming aids worth Php 8-M to farmers associations in the province.
The Agno River Irrigation Project (ARIP) of NIA has already covered 11,202 hectares of planted/irrigated areas in Agno system (9,102 hectares) which include San Manuel, Asingan, Binalonan, Villasis, Urdaneta City, Laoac, Manaoag, Mangaldan, Mapandan, Sta. Barbara and Malasiqui); and Sinocalan system (2,100 hectares) covering Sta. Barbara, Calasiao, Mangaldan and Dagupan City.
Out of the 181,261 hectares total potential irrigable area, the NIA ARIP already renders services in 109,227 hectares or 60 percent while remaining at 40 percent covers 72,034 hectares.
NIA officials led a briefing on their irrigation projects right after the tilapia fingerlings dispersal.
By Dexter A. See