San Jose, Tarlac - “Nagumpisa na ang maliwanag na buhay para sa ating mga kababayan dito sa Tarlac. Tunay na malasakit at pagbabago tungo sa kaunlaran”, those were the words of Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. during the Laying of Time Capsule for (TBBMP II) Tarlac Balog-Balog Multipurpose Projects Phase II on July 18 at the NIA Campsite, Brgy. Sula, San Jose, tarlac.
Cabsec Evasco shared that President Duterte was happy about the improvement of the project. He added that the President looks forward to seeing the project completed and serving the vastness of Tarlac’s agricultural lands.
"This project (TBBMP Phase II) was once a dream but now it's a reality", he added.
He further encouraged everyone to maximize the opportunity that was given to them and asked the citizens to be vigilant as the project progresses and to report any suspicious acts or transactions related to the TBBMP II.
NIA Administrator Gen. Ricardo Visaya announced that the project is envisioned not only to provide irrigation but also power generation, livelihood, and boost eco-tourism.
“As a multipurpose dam, we are looking for a hydropower project within the facility that can generate at least 43.5 Megawatts of electricity”, he added.
TBBMP Project Manager Engr. Lauro Ballesteros presented the history of the project including the difficulties it went thru before arriving to this point. He said that the project has a total cost of P13.37 billion which will provide a year-round irrigation to about 34, 410 hectares of agri lands in ten (10) municipalities of Tarlac.
“More or less mga 23,000 farmers po ang makikinabang sa proyektong ito”, Engr. Ballesteros.
The construction of TBBMP Phase II includes the high dam which has a budget allocation of P7.9 billion. Once completed, it can store up to 560 Million Cubic Meter (MCM) which can increase the cropping intensity in the project area from 124% to 200%.
NIA Adm. Ret. Gen. Ricardo R. Visaya makes his first visit to NIA XI in Mindanao to grace as keynote speaker to NIA XI's Mass Turn-over of Completed Projects to Irrigators Associations (IA) and Awarding Ceremonies of Outstanding IAs and NIA Achievers on July 14, 2017 held at The Ritz, Garden Oases, Bo. Obrero, Davao City.
Adm. Visaya concurred forty-four (44) Completed Projects turned-over by RM Felix M. Razo and accepted by the IAs represented by its IA Presidents in the ceremonial Mass Turn-over and signing of Acceptance documents. He also led the Awarding Ceremonies for the Most Outstanding Irrigators Associations for CY 2016 and DA Achiever's Award 2016.
The NIA chief in his message stated that this government extended Free Irrigation Service Fee (ISF) for marginalized farmers to ameliorate their living conditions thru increase rice production.
Emphasizing that rice productivity takes the efforts of government line agencies and the farmers themselves, he advised the Irrigators Associations (IAs) to use water wisely and effectively assuring them of NIA's assistance. He informed the IAs that as private entities, they can collect dues from their members to support their own operation and maintenance activities
162 participants attended the event composed of NIA Board Member Gregorio G. Sarmiento; Adm. Ret. Gen. Ricardo R. Visaya and NIACO staff; RM Felix M. Razo and NIA XI Staff; RCIA XI President Saturnino D. Simbajon with the Region XI IA Presidents and NIA Consultant Gen. Gerardo F. Barrientos.
Prior to the mass turn-over and awarding event, a briefing of NIA Region XI was held for Adm. Visaya and NIACO Staff. Regional Manager Felix M. Razo presented the region's facts and figures revealing the region XI's "secret formula" on garnering Outstanding Irrigators Associations as a Realization of NIA's Vision.
Adm. Visaya had audience with the NIA Region XI staff at the Engineering & Operations office after the briefing where he focused on the 4-Point Agenda stressing on eliminating corruption and urging the employees to stay away from gambling such as casino and shun alcoholism; he stressed the importance of commitment in performing their tasks.
Present during the briefing were Division Managers, IMO Managers, Section Chiefs, the RCIA XI President and NIA Consultant Gerardo F. Barrientos. Concluding RM Felix's report were the issues and concerns which Adm. Visaya responded amiably.
Among others, he approved the awarding of housing and subdivision lots for NIA employees located at Carmen and Tagum, Davao del Norte and the completion of the 3-storey Mindanao Training Center (MTC) at the NIA XI compound in Davao City.
He also granted the region's request for additional positions for project implementation informing that he brought with him Human Resources Management Officer Julieta I. Esporlas to observe actual needs at this level beyond the paper on table.
Updating on the Salary Increase of NIA employees under EO 203-A or SSL4, he said that the documents are for approval at the office of the President and he is positive about it.
Administrator Gen. Ricardo R. Visaya showed support for the sincere thrust of NIA Region 8 management to continue the implementation of Sta. Rita Small Reservoir Irrigation Project (SRIP) as he inspected the irrigation system on June 9, 2017.
Sta. Rita SRIP has been rejected by the NIA Board since it questioned about the long duration in implementing the project for it extended in its expected date to finish, also the request of funds for the Land Acquisition & Resettlement Plan (LARP) amounting to 109.777M.
The management defended that it took them time due to right of way problems and sequence of re-inventory for crops and property damages at reservoir area. The management had a difficulty in convincing the affected persons or families to be resettled.
Furthermore, the construction of embankment dam will require the formulation of LARP due to submerged areas at around 712 has. of area, covering barangays Union, Lourdes and Sitio Tominamos II and relocation of the 325 project affected persons/families (PAPs/Fs) and 24 communal facilities, such as school building, health center, multipurpose hall, barangay hall, basketball court, catholic church, chapel, public toilet, market, concrete pathway, drying pavement, cemetery and street lights. The LARP activities where inadvertently not included under the pre-construction activities.
When Admin. Visaya inspected the project site and resettlement area, he was enlightened with the sincere efforts done by the management. Also, he was convinced by the participation of the Local Government Unit (LGU) in Sta. Rita, the PAPs/Fs and beneficiaries of the project.
Administrator Visaya encouraged one of the PAPs to continue to support the thrust of this project since it is for their welfare. This project (Sta. Rita) aims to provide irrigation through its outlet works connected to the service canal that will supply water to agricultural lands extending to seven (7) barangays— Brgy. San Eduardo, Brgy. Maligaya, Brgy. Tulay, Brgy. Camayse, Brgy. Tominamos I, Brgy. Anibongon, Brgy. Anibongon- Sitio Ormocanay and Brgy. Gumamela-Sitio Kadaragan.
It will irrigate 916 hectares of rice lands in Sta. Rita, Western Samar with about 764 farmer beneficiaries and is expected to increase the annual production. Thus, it will further support the government’s thrust for rice self-sufficiency.
The NIA chief moved to BITO River Irrigation System (RIS), Javier, Leyte—under the supervision of Engr. Santos D. Meracap. It is composed of 11 Irrigators’ Associations (IAs), 63 turn-out service area groups (TSAGs) and 67 Board of Trustees (BOTs), 12 of which are females. It covers 1, 645 has., benefiting 1,566 farmers, 1, 248 of which are members of the IA with 293 female members.
The IA gained appreciation from the NIA administrator. RRV commended Bito RIS, “So far, sa lahat na naikutan ko sa buong bansa, dito po lamang ang nakita kong may pinakamalinis na canal. Sabihin nating nilinisan ninyo kasi alam niyong papunta ako, pero halata po sa kulay nang tubig at may naglalaba pa kanina nadaanan ko. Wala naman sigurong maglalaba doon kung madumi yung tubig. Sana po ay ipagpatuloy ninyo ang inyong mabuting nasimulan”.
By that commendation, the system’s request on the repair of post-harvest facilities (PHF) damaged by Yolanda was granted by RRV.
On the same day, RRV had a meeting with the irrigation management office (IMO) managers, heads of satellite offices and staff at the NIA 8 regional conference room. Status of accomplishments and strategies were presented. As assessed by the administrator, NIA Region 8 outstandingly rendered its service.
“Region 8, job well done!”—RRV’s introduction during the conference with Region 8 IA Federations. This was on the second day of his visit. It was attended by 100 farmers—represented the different provinces of the region. RRV concluded his visit in Region 8 with all appreciation and recognition to Engr. Romeo G. Quiza, the NIA 8 regional manager and staff for an exemplary service and implementation and to the farmers for active participation and support for the program.
Cabinet Secretary Leoncio ‘Jun’ Evasco Jr. and NIA Administrator Gen. Ricardo Visaya led the groundbreaking ceremony of two (2) NIA Small Reservoir Irrigation Projects (SRIPs) in Region 7 on June 26. With them are NIA employees and local officials who took part to formally start the construction of Bonotbonot SRIP and Benliw SRIP both in Bohol.