National Irrigation Administration, Quezon City – The Investment Coordination Committee – Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) on September 28, 2016 approved several regional projects targeting rural and agricultural development in the country.
Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project Stage 2 (MMIP II) and Chico River Pump Irrigation Project are among the projects endorsed by the committee for approval of National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). Socioeconomic planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia believes that these projects are aligning with President Duterte’s commitment to reduce poverty and inequality especially on regional and rural areas.
The NEDA board endorsed the proposed change in scope, cost, and financing of the ongoing Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project Stage 2. The 5.4-billion MMIP II project is set to increase the design area to cover the construction of three major service areas including upper and lower Malitubog and the Pagalungan extension area. Upon completion, it will irrigate more than 10,000 hectares of agricultural fields and will benefit more than 50 barangays in North Cotabato and Maguindanao.
Aside from increasing the rice production and attaining food sufficiency in the area, the project intends to achieve and sustain peace and order in the region through social and agricultural development. MMIP II is expected to be completed by 2018.
Another irrigation project lining up for approval is the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project in CAR and Region 2. The project will irrigate 8,700 hectares of land and will benefit 4,350 farmers in the area. The 2.7 billion pump irrigation project targets 21 barangays in Cagayan and Kalinga and expected to finish within 3-year period.
Department of Budget and Management Secretary Bejamin Diokno repeatedly agree that it is high time for the government to invest and prioritize into “The Golden age of infrastructure”.