Pangasinan swamped with irrigation projects

NATIONAL Irrigation Administration (NIA) in Pangasinan is suddenly awash with funds for the implementation of various irrigation projects.

NIA Regional Director John Celeste said 75 projects are lined up in Pangasinan this year with a total allocation of P517 million to irrigate some 758 hectares and restore irrigation in 205 hectares and rehabilitate 4,367 hectares more.

The listed projects are in addition to Agno River Irrigation System Extension Project (ARISEP) for which P2.6 billion has been allocated in 2017 to cover 5,000 hectares and irrigate 12,000 hectares.

Among the projects are: P20.23 million Ambayaoan-Dipalo River irrigation system, P20 million lower Agno River irrigation system, P19.35 million DUMOLOC river irrigation system, P21 million San Fabian River irrigation system, P52.5 million Sinucalan River Irrigation system, and P80.50 million Agno River Irrigation system.

Celeste said projects to construct and repair irrigation projects in the past were often plagued by lack or absence of funds but this has changed under the Duterte administration.

He said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) challenged both NIA and the DPWH to complete the projects within the allocated funds and the prescribed budget.

He said with the avalanche of projects, any delay in the implementation of the projects can only be caused by the contractor’s resources and availability of supplies, no longer by lack of funds.

NIA is also encouraging the farmers to join the construction of small projects that don’t need to big equipment.

Celeste said, the budget of NIA projects this year has tripled compared to previous years.

Meanwhile, the construction of ARISEP continues with the release of P1.5 billion from the total budget allocation of P2.6 billion. (Nora Dominguez)

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