Senate okays NIA’s Budget; Bicam harmonizes provisions on Free Irrigation

Friday, October 20, 2017 - 14:32


NIA, Central Office - The Upper house, during its plenary session on October 10, approved the Php 40.8 billion budget of National Irrigation Administration for 2018.

NIA Chief Gen. Ricardo Visaya believed that the 6 percent increase in agency’s 2018 budget will pave way to build more irrigation infrastructures that will boost agricultural productivity of the country.   

Bulk of the approved budget, or the Php 27.3 billion, will be for the restoration, repair, and rehabilitation of existing irrigation systems and construction and development of new irrigation systems.

Early September, the House of Representatives also gave its green light for the said budget.

Meanwhile, the Bicameral Committee panel sets clearer direction for the proposed free irrigation services act. The Congress and Senate, on October 10, agreed to settle differences on some provisions of the proposed law.

Senate Committee Chairperson on agriculture and food Senator Cynthia Villar admitted that there are disagreeing provisions of Senate Bill 1465 (Free Irrigation Service to Small Farmers Act of 2017) and House Bill 5670 (Free Irrigation Services Act).

Acting NIA Operations Manager Engr. Bayani Ofrecio, on one of free irrigation consultations, said that the house and senate bills differ on some provisions on condonation and corporate status of NIA.

“Sa Senate kasi ang sinasabi nila revocation of corporate status ng NIA together with its authority to contract foreign loans pero sa Congress wala naman sila binanggit kung GOCC pa rin ba ang NIA o line agency na”, he said.    

But with the determination of both houses to reduce production cost, hasten productivity and increase the income of farmers, the committee has agreed to condone all unpaid irrigation fees and the corresponding penalties of small farmers with landholdings of eight (8) hectares or below to the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

The committee also decided to let a separate legislation address the issue on the status of NIA whether or not it will hold its identity as Government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC).

Present during the Bicam conference were Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Sherwin Gatchalian, Joseph Victor Ejercito, and Francis Pangilinan. The congress was represented by ANAC-IP Party List Rep. Jose Panganiban, Jr. together with Representatives Arthur Yap, Noel Villanueva, Ariel Casilao, Sharon Garin, Henry Oaminal, Jericho Nograles and Cecilia Leonila Chavez.


Monday, October 2, 2017 - 09:03


NIA, Quezon City- Former Major General Romeo G. Gan officially assumed the post as new NIA Deputy Administrator for Administrative and Finance. 

Gen. Gan took his oath of office before Cabinet Secretary Leoncio B. Evasco on September 18, 2017 in Malacañang Palace.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte appointed him to replace Estrella Icasiano after the latter filed her irrevocable resignation earlier this month.  

Deputy Administrator Gan was a former Commander of 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighter” Division of the Philippine Army. He served as Commander of the Civil Relations Service of Armed Forces of the Philippines (CRSAFP).

Prior to his designation as the civil relations chief, he served as the Assistant Division Commander of the 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division based in Camp Siongco, Awang DOS, Maguindanao.

He is expected to bring to the position his expertise in leadership and management in administrative and finance. With his recent appointment, Gen. Gan will join his comrades Gen. Visaya (NIA Administrator) and Gen. Bagasin (NIA Senior Deputy Administrator) who are also members of the Philippine Military Academy "Matikas" Class of 1983.

NIA gets congress’ approval for its 2018 budget

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 10:54


NIA Central Office, Quezon City – The lower house, during its plenary session on September 11, approved the Php40.8 billion 2018 budget for National Irrigation Administration. The amount is higher by 6 percent than the P38.3 billion allotted for the irrigation sector this year.

Bulk of the approved budget, or the Php26.8 billion, will be for the restoration, repair, and rehabilitation of existing irrigation systems and construction and development of new irrigation systems. The agency is also eyeing to establish pump and special irrigation systems.

NIA Chief Gen. Ricardo Visaya previously said that the increased budget will be used to accelerate and complete ongoing projects and quickly develop and increase new irrigation areas.

“We want to increase the budget to fund the construction of our dams. We still have about 40.68 percent to be developed and we would like to fast track the development to help achieve rice self-sufficiency,” he added.

NIA administrator said that the congress’ approval is a welcome move for the agency to implement larger scale new projects, to continuously conduct project feasibility studies and detailed engineering, to provide adequate equipment support for operation and maintenance, and to protect watersheds of big irrigation systems.

The Agency is set to meet the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food chaired by Sen. Cynthia Villar for a Senate Committee Hearing on September 19. The management is hopeful that the proposed budget will also be accepted by the Upper House. 

The agency, as of December 2016, has developed 1.85 million hectares of agricultural lands equivalent to 59.32 percent of irrigation development.

National Irrigation Administration, The Philippines, supports SIMA-ASEAN Thailand 2017

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 10:31


Bangkok, Thailand, 2017- SIMA ASEAN Thailand 2017- The southeast Asian Agri-Business show, 3rd edition of International Agricultural Business Exhibition & Conferences for the Agricultural Industry, in unison of COMEXPOSIUM from France and Impact Management Co., Ltd. together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives being held on 7-9 September 2017, 10:00-18:00 at Hall 5-6 IMPACT Exhibition & Convention Center and IMPACT Lakeside, Bangkok, Thailand.

National Irrigation Administration, The Philippines- as SIMA ASEAN Thailand 2017, the international trade show for agricultures suppliers aims to be one of the most effective methods to promote their model ‘Thailand 4.0’ to the whole agriculture industry, National Irrigation Administration, The Philippines, will serve as the Hosted Supporting Association. NIA will be associating the exhibition for the same intentions and purposes for agricultural development; to showcase the best practices for farming and encourage farmers to apply modernization and technologies into their daily work for the enhancement and increase of productivity.

National Irrigation Administration, one of the government agencies in the Philippines, is responsible for providing efficient irrigation services through maximizing the country’s water resources to produce good quality rice and diversified crops and giving advanced technical assistance to improve the welfare of the farmers, their families and the rural communities. Southeast Asian Agri-Business show welcomes NIA, The Philippines, for its participation and cooperation in the demonstration of their platform as they have similar objective; the development of agricultural sector.

NIA fulfills Free ISF, Back Accounts payment up for Senate and Congress ruling

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 14:20


NIA, Central Office – The National Irrigation Administration, on Monday, reiterated that the agency is fulfilling President Duterte’s marching order on Free Irrigation Service Fee.

More and more Irrigators’ Associations (IAs) are signing up with the new Irrigation Management Transfer (IMT) contract which outlines core guidelines in the Free Irrigation policy. As stipulated in the contract, the agency will no longer collect ISF current accounts from the farmers.

“Totoo po na hindi na po nangongolekta ng bayad patubig ang NIA sa buong bansa bilang pagtugon sa kautusan ng ating Pangulo”, said Pilipina Bermudez, NIA spokesperson.

The ISF back accounts, on the other hand, are still subject for collection since no final ruling yet on whether the unpaid irrigation service fee will be condoned.

“Hinihintay pa po natin na mailabas ng ating kongreso at senado ang kanilang desisyon sa pagkolekta ng mga back accounts sa ating magsasaka”, she added

NIA Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya, earlier, said that the agency is having hard time collecting the said fee since some of the farmers and IAs are not willing to pay their past debts. But the NIA chief echoed that the agency did not impose any deadlines on paying farmers’ past account.

“Wala po tayong deadline sa back accounts, ang katotohanan po niyan pwede pa ring mag avail ang ating mga magsasaka ng mga programs and incentives (Paying Back Accounts) na binibigay na noon pa ng NIA”, said NIA Administrator.

The agency also clarified that the IAs are now starting to collect a reasonable fee for own operational expenses.

“Kung may nagsisingil man ng patubig ito ay own initiative na ng ating mga irrigators’ association at hindi na ito saklaw ng NIA. Nasa kanila (IAs) na po ang desisyong kung magkano ang mapagkakasunduan nilang bayad patubig”, Visaya said. 

But the NIA chief still vowed to extend support to the farmers whenever the need arises. Administrator Visaya said he intends to continue and support the IAs whom, thru the years, became an active partner of the agency in its thrust to support the agricultural productivity of the country thru irrigation.

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