NIA 6: We support no irrigation service fee collection

Calinog, Iloilo – National Irrigation Administration Regional Manager Gerardo P. Corsiga expressed strong support for non-collection of irrigation service fee (ISF) next year. Manager Corsiga emphasized this during the inauguration of the newly formed Irrigators’ Associations (IA) in the town.

On June 29, 2016, Department of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol announced that the free irrigation policy will be implemented by 2017. As such, ISF collection will continue  until the end of 2016. This is to give way for NIA to develop strategies and sources for its operation.

“Matutupad po ang pangako ng ating Pangulo (Duterte), pero dapat po tayo ay mag-antay until such time na mabago ang batas, ang mandato ng NIA (The President’s promise of free irrigation will come true, but we just need to wait until the law and NIA’s mandate are amended),” explained Piñol.

Manager Corsiga also informed the farmers of the support extended by the Duterte Administration on the implementation of Iloilo’s biggest irrigation project.
Newswires reported last month that Secretary Piñol gave his “go” signal for the implementation of the P11.2-billion Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) in Calinog, Iloilo.

NIA welcomed this development and thanked the Secretary and the President for their support to farmers in the province.

The same news elated the two newly organized IA of Calinog, CAIMBOC-CA (Cabugao, Impalidan, Bo. Calinog and Cabagiao) and LAMGUICAN (Lampaya, Guiso and Canabajan) Irrigators’ Associations.

All 288 farmer-members of these IA are excited for the project’s implementation that will commence by the end of the year or early 2017.

JRMP II is the biggest water reservoir to be constructed outside Luzon. This project will provide year-round irrigation water supply to 32, 840 hectares of farm land and will benefit more than 25,000 farmers. In addition, the project will help achieve the rice self-sufficiency target of the government. It will also provide hydropower supply and bulk water supply to the province and  city of Iloilo.  /JP (Ramon C. Salvilla, CDA II)