Iloilo Indigenous Peoples call for dam implementation

Friday, August 26, 2016 - 14:26


Calinog, Iloilo, Philippines – Inter-sectoral support for the implementation of Iloilo’s biggest and much-needed irrigation development project continues to broaden.

Dubbed Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II), it is a significant ‘pipe-line’ project in Iloilo Province. It has since enjoyed the endorsement of Indigenous Peoples, farmers, national government agencies, Local Government Units (LGU), religious groups and the business sector.

In fact, no less than the members of the Panay-Bukidnon IP community called for support from the Duterte Administration to pursue the JRMP II. Saying “the implementation of the project will respect and recognize the stand and desire of the Panay-Bukidnon community for progress and peace”, the IPs wrote a manifesto addressed to President Rodrigo Duterte.

The two-page document was signed by 200 IP elders representing the 16 barangays (villages) that will be affected by the dam project. Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan (National Living Treasure) and clan leader of the Caballero Family, Federico “Tay Pedring” Caballero led the signing of the manifesto. In full support too is Calinog town elected IP councilor Renato Casinao.

Year-round irrigation, potable water, renewable energy, employment and livelihood opportunities are among the ‘mega-benefits’ of JRMP II the IPs emphasized in the manifesto.

The project will irrigate 31,840 hectares of rice lands in Iloilo Province and will increase annual production of rice from 130,000 to 300,000 tons per hectare. It will further support the government’s thrust for rice self-sufficiency.

Apart from this, the JRMP II will provide bulk water supply for domestic and industrial use and hydroelectric power of 6.6 megawatts. It will also mitigate flooding in Calinog and nearby towns.

Furthermore, the project will create thousands of employment for IPs, farmers and other stakeholders.

The IPs further acknowledged the Free and Prior Informed Consent process undertaken by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA). “The JRMP II went through legal, transparent and genuine processes such as the FPIC of the Panay-Bukidnon”, the manifesto reads. “No less than the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) ensured that the process was in order and strictly implemented”.

JRMP II was granted by the NCIP with two Certification Preconditions. One was for the conduct of the feasibility study in 2012 and the other was for the construction of the project in 2015.

Since its beginning, JRMP II is for the inclusive development of both upland and lowland stakeholders. IP rights as enshrined by the Republic 8371 or Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997 were duly considered in the plans and programs of the project. Environmental and social considerations were also made in accordance to the provisions of laws and international guidelines.

To further protect the interests of the Ilonggos, 27 national government agencies worked together to develop comprehensive infrastructure, livelihood, and basic social services for the stakeholders. This came after the IP stakeholders have requested for schools, roads, health centers, livelihood programs and other basic social services.

The manifesto was handed by the IPs to the office of Iloilo Governor Arthur D. Defensor Sr. for endorsement to the national government. Earlier in July, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol gave his “go” signal for the implementation of the project under the Duterte Administration.

JRMP II is an 11.2 billion pesos ($ 260.140 Million) irrigation project funded by the governments of the Philippines and South Korea. 8.951 billion pesos ($ 207.670 Million) will come from the Official Development Assistance of the Korean Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF). The remaining 2.261 billion pesos ($ 52.470 Million) will be sourced from the funds of the Philippine Government. The project strengthens the partnership of both governments for inclusive rural development.

P40.9-M Irrigation Project under CARP-IC fund inaugurated

Friday, August 26, 2016 - 14:20

Engr. Madante P. Ganotisi, ADS IMO Manager turn-over the documents to Mr. Agustin A. Constancio, IA President witnessed by IA members, representatives from LGUs, DAR and NIA personnel during Inauguration and Turn-over Ceremony of Limbatangan CIP on August 23, 2016.

Facing the new challenges of our administration to deliver the commitment to serve our farmers and alleviate their condition, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Caraga quickly responds to it by inaugurating and turning over the P40.9M Limbatangan Communal Irrigation Project (CIP) held at Rosario, Agusan del Sur (ADS) last August 23, 2015. It was programmed to serve 100 Farmer Beneficiaries under the leadership of Mr. Agustin A. Constancio, IA President of Limbatangan Farmers Irrigators Association, Inc.

The project located at Poblacion, Rosario, ADS is under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program-Irrigation Component (CARP-IC) of Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) implemented by NIA under the supervision of Engr. Madante P. Ganotisi, ADS IMO Manager and Engr. C’zar M. Sulaik, Regional Manager. The project is identified as priority of Limbatanga ARC and was programmed to irrigate 300 hectares which draws water from Limbatangan River.

To sanctify the Limbatangan dam, Rev. Fr. Melvin E. Lorono led the blessing of dam together with the IAs, LGUs headed by Ms. Yolanda Urbiztondo-Municipal Administrator and Hon. Federico S. Guerero, Brgy. Kagawad, Rosario, ADS, NIA headed by Engr. Ganotisi and Engr. Rosalina Valdehueza, CARP Reg’l Coordinator, DAR represented by Ms. Evita R. Puerin and other participants.

Unveiling the beauty of Limbatangan CIP is a big journey in each stakeholders, as Engr. Ganotisi presented the project background it shows that series of collaborations, meetings, and allocations were conducted just to complete the project. The IAs are also excited when Administrator Urbiztondo stated during her speech that the Limbatangan IA will be the recipient of the MRDP Phase II that will also increase the irrigated area.

“Sa pagsubaybay sa wastong daan (pamamalakad), sa dulo nito ay kanilang naramdaman ang tunay na kasiyahan, sapagkat abot kamay na nila ang tubig na matagal ng pinapangarap”” heart whelming message of Mr. Constancio during the event.

Limbatangan Dam

FFP: “Let’s continue our work”

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 15:19

National Irrigation Administration, Quezon City – It was during the flag raising ceremony of the agency on August 22, 2016 at NIA flagpole when NIA Administrator Dr. Florencio F. Padernal once again encourages all the employees to remain focus on their respective work. “Tayo naman tuluy-tuloy lang ang trabaho kahit wala pa rin malinaw na direksyon sa atin” he added.

Dr. Padernal expresses his determination to incessantly provide the much needed services to our Filipino farmers. Even though things are not yet clear, the management is eager to continue the usual work they are bound to do. “We will be going to a congressional hearing this coming Thursday we have been preparing last couple of weeks for this particular event” he said.

NIA is currently undertaking the preparations for the 2017 budget for the agency. All agreed that the approval of the budget is crucial to what the agency will able to do in the coming year. Deputy Administrator for Administrative and Finance Ms. Estrella E. Icasiano even noted that they want to see the 2017 budget ‘go and approved’ by the congress and senate.

Aside from budget hearing, Dr. Padernal personally visited Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project (MalMar) in Aleosan and Pikit, North Cotabato. MalMar is one of the big ticket projects of NIA that is said to boosts agricultural lands in five towns in North Cotabato. “We are trying to redefine and redevelop the remaining works” he noted.

The administrator also visited Negros Oriental to see how the project is properly identify, develop, and prepare as Feasibility Study and Detailed Engineering (FS&DE) is concern.  Dr. Padernal believed that the project will be a milestone for Negros Oriental as it will pave way for a regular Irrigation Management Office (IMO) in the area.

The management is also persistently rushing the rebidding of the Jalaur Project. “We receive a letter of concurrence from Korea Eximbank pertaining to rebidding that we propose” Dr. Padernal said. Both agreed to expedite the project with proper execution and clearly documented.

Amid reports about NIA regarding where it will be attached, when it will happen, whom the one to lead are some of agency’s hot pot at this current season. But with the fortitude of the management to continuously go on with their functions all can still hope for the best.

Drilling Rigs Delivered at NIA Caraga

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 14:25

Actual Orientation and Installation of Drilling Rig by the supplier (TRAMAT Merchantile, Inc.) at Brgy. Aguinaldo, Bayugan, Agusan del Sur on August 18, 2016.

To combat the effect caused by El Niño, the National Irrigation Administration-Caraga recently received the two newly Drilling Rigs for the installation of Shallow Tube Well (SHW) in some affected areas to continue to provide irrigation for the whole year round.

On August 17-18, 2016, the Regional Office conducted two-day Orientation on Operation of Drilling Rig at the NIA Conference Room, Bancasi, Butuan City. The activity includes actual installation and operation of Drilling Rig by the supplier (TRAMAT Merchantile, Inc) at Brgy. Aguinaldo, Bayugan City- one of Andanan-Wawa River Irrigation System (AWRIS) service area.

The participants from the three Irrigation Management Offices (IMOs), Regional Office, and local residents observed cautiously as they will operate the said equipment from the mounting of the drilling rig to tube well installation. The supplier also emphasized the importance of the safety precautions to avoid accidents.

 Engr. C’zar M. Sulaik, Regional Manager said in his message during the orientation that this installation will have significant impact to our farmers who needs water for irrigation during dry-spell, it is crucial to provide adequate water at the right time to help them during rice production.

Zarraga Mayor Thankful for Creek Improvement Project

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 14:17

Zarraga town mayor John Tarrosa (left) and NIA 6 regional manager Gerardo P. Corsiga (right) discuss collaborative efforts for the improvement of the Sigangao creek. (Photo by Steve Cordero, PRO-C)

NIA Iloilo – The creek improvement project of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) here received credit for being beneficial to its stakeholders. No less than Mayor John Tarrosa of Zarraga praised and thanked NIA for improving Sigangao Creek in his municipality.

Parallel to the town’s vision of “Clean, Safe and Green”, the project according to the mayor will support agriculture, flood mitigation, and environmental protection initiatives of Zarraga.

Sigangao creek is one of the outfalls of the Jalaur River that flows from central portion of Panay. During heavy rain, the creek floods neighbouring communities leaving behind huge losses in agriculture and properties. With this, Zarraga is considered one of the most flooded towns of Iloilo.

“Ang project ng NIA really served its purpose. . . it did not only contribute to flood mitigation but at the same time ang farmers namin may water na during dry season (NIA’s project served its purpose. . .not only that that it contributed to flood mitigation but it will provide water for our farmers during dry season),” said Tarossa.

Also, the project according to Tarrosa will promote collaboration among national government agencies, the Local Government Unit, Civil Society Organizations and the academe for environmental protection. The project site will be turned into an eco-tourism site. Trees that were cut down to give way for the project will be replaced. The LGU in cooperation with NIA, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Solutions Ecosystems Activator of Zarraga, and the residents themselves will work together to restore and improve habitat in the creek.

On June 16, 2016, NIA convened said stakeholders to form an inter-sectoral Technical Working Group to oversee the project. Included in the TWG are design engineers and institutional development workers of NIA, the engineers of Zarraga, DENR, Department of Public Works and Highways, representative from CSO, and the academe.

NIA Regional Manager Gerardo P. Corsiga explained that the same TWG will also be formed for other NIA projects in the region to ensure their holistic implementation.

The creek improvement in Sigangao is part of NIA’s 46-million drainage improvement program in the province. Lampaya creek in Calinog town and Bolilao creek in Dumangas town were also improved and rehabilitated under the program.

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