$70-M irrigation project extended
The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) lauded the National Economic and Development Authority’s move approving the 18-month extension of the $70-million (about P3.5 billion), World Bank-funded Participatory Irrigation Development Project (PIDP).
NIA Administrator Peter Tiu Laviña said in a statement that the agency received a letter from the Neda Investment Coordination Committee—Cabinet Committee (ICC-CABCOM) approving the request to move the PIDP’s closing date to Aug. 31, 2018 from Feb. 27, 2017.
First approved in June 2009, PIDP is intended to help improve the delivery of irrigation services “on a financially and technically sustainable basis that will contribute to increased agricultural production and productivity among beneficiary farmers in irrigated areas.”
Laviña said the Neda also approved the reallocation of $8.4- million worth of the loan proceeds; increase in loan financing percentage for civil works from 72 percent to 100 percent and consulting services from 68 percent to 100 percent, and the revision in the results framework and appraisal document.
The PIDP accounts for a significant contribution in funding the construction of new irrigation facilities and restoration of existing ones that sustain damage from strong typhoons.
“Rest assured that the NIA under my administration will provide necessary services and assistance within our mandate to respond to the needs of our farmers,” Laviña said.
In a related development, Rep. Arthur C. Yap (Bohol, third district) is preparing a bill to provide NIA with funds to continue operations as the Duterte administration continues to find ways on how to sustain free irrigation services without the collection of irrigation fees.
Yap said that while President Duterte promised free irrigation to farmers, there would be no sufficient water to distribute without a comprehensive financial and construction program to restore, rehabilitate, maintain and expand the current irrigated lands in the country.
Yap said that for the NIA to attend to irrigation facilities that need repair the agency needed P87 billion.