NIA Central Office – The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has conducted a review regarding the non-completion of 436 irrigation projects in 2017 with an aggregate amount of P11.938 billion. Among these, it has been found out that the P551.915-million Sta. Josefa Pump Irrigation Project (SJPIP) in Agusan del Sur suffered the longest delay reaching more than seven years.
The Agency’s assessment shows that the delays in project implementation are caused by various contributing factors, such as the Right-of-Way (ROW) problems, peace and order situation in project areas, delay in the release of funds and budget allocation process, delays incurred in the bidding process of civil works that attribute to the late start of contract works, unworkable site condition within the project area due to consequences of climate change affecting the construction operations, on-going farming activities, and poor contractors’ performance resulting to extension in project implementation.
These issues are being addressed by the NIA Administrator, giving stern warning to NIA field management offices to closely monitor project implementation so that any problem that may arise can be resolved immediately.
In the case of Sta. Josefa Pump Irrigation Project (SJPIP), although started in 2008, the project construction was not continuously undertaken due to factors that are beyond control. Several extension and rebidding processes were done. As of to date, about 1,000 hectares of agricultural lands are now being irrigated with the substantial completion of about 95% of irrigation facilities. The remaining areas will be fully irrigated once the project is finally completed.
With the assistance of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary (OCS), a funding worth P140 million was allocated for SJPIP for Calendar Year 2018. It is intended to complete the project and for the improvement of the facilities from earth to lined canal to minimize the leakage of irrigation water, particularly at the different lateral canals within the service area of the irrigation system.
In order to ensure that all right-of-way claims are first settled before the start of project construction, NIA is now aiming to include ROW funding on its 2019 Budget which will serve as a common fund from Central Office.
Meanwhile, in order to resolve relevant issues concerning with the peace and order situation in project areas, the Agency has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the security of NIA projects.
NIA Top Management Officials, in coordination with regional irrigation management offices, are currently working hand in hand to monitor the completion of all projects based on the target. The Agency is now ascertaining that despite some issues in project implementation, the construction of high quality of dams and irrigation projects that will last for 50 years or more is assured.
**For questions and/or clarifications, you may contact:
PILIPINA P. BERMUDEZ, CESE
Department Manager A
NIA Public Affairs and Information Staff
Mobile: 0995 251 7847