NIA Chief meets farmers, pledges support to IA

Friday, June 30, 2017 - 09:54


NIA Administrator Gen. Ricardo Visaya shares his plans and programs for the agency and farmers during his visit in Region 1 and Cordillera Administrative Region.

NIA, Quezon City - Irrigation Chief Gen. Ricardo Visaya met NIA officials, employees, and various Irrigators’ Associations both in Region 1 and Cordillera Administrative Region earlier this month.

The administrator was capped by a comprehensive briefing on irrigation development in Region 1. It was immediately followed by an open forum with the active participation of top-ranking IA officials and provincial irrigation management office managers.

Before proceeding to La Trinidad, Benguet, Administrator Visaya together with other officials headed to Bued Communal Irrigation System DAM 1 Service Irrigators Association office in Rosario, La Union to meet with the award-winning farmers.

"Kahit po wala na ang Irrigation Service Fee, ang NIA po ay magpapatuloy pa rin magserbisyo sa inyo (farmers). Patuloy pa rin po ang ating samahan para mas palakasin pa ang agrikultura sa ating bansa", Visaya said.

He then pledged P5-million to help finance the continuous development and repair of irrigation canal lining. The repair of said facility will increase agricultural produce within the service area.

The open and direct conversation style of the administrator facilitated the easy dialogue with the farmers led by the quick-witted Remegio Capdos, president of the Kebeng Bagan Irrigators Association Inc., who proudly showed the visitors their irrigation system and vegetable farms at Longlong in Barangay Puguis, Cordillera Administrative Region.

Irrigators’ association members of Timoy CIS in Puguis, La Trinidad, Benguet are happy with the support of Gen. Ricardo Visaya (Ret.), NIA’s top official, during his visit to their irrigation system and vegetable farms on June 16.

Timoy Communal Irrigation System (CIS) was constructed by NIA-CAR under the Balik Sagip Patubig Program for CY 2015 with counterparts from the Local Government Unit of La Trinidad and the Irrigators’ Association. The project which was completed in 2016 involved the construction of nine reservoir tanks, installation of pump and its accessories as well as pipelines. It currently irrigates ten hectares of high-value crops such as lettuce, strawberries, beans and other vegetables, and benefits 26 farmers.

According to Capdos, the farmers of Timoy CIS now have sufficient and dependable water supply to irrigate their farms especially during summer months when they used to have shortage of water due to the absence of reservoir tanks to for water storage. He said farmers can cultivate their farms for up to four times a year depending on the crops planted and availability of irrigation water.

To further improve and sustain production, the Administrator committed the allocation of five million pesos in the budget of the ensuing years to the delight of the farmers. This will be earmarked for the request of the farmers for protection works along water source and the establishment of additional pumps for the additional area to be irrigated. He instructed Engr. Godofredo Velaque, provincial coordinator for Benguet, to conduct validation and resistivity testing and prepare program of works for Timoy CIS.

Earlier, the administrator also conducted dialogue with the employees of NIA-CAR in Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet where he listened to the concerns of the employees and shared his four-point agenda which are eradication of graft and corruption, instituting measures aim to improve the service delivery, uplifting the morale and welfare of NIA’s human resource and strengthening organization structures and development essential capabilities.