NIA, Quezon City – A simultaneous signing of the Modified Irrigation Management Transfer (IMT) contracts between NIA and 62 Irrigator Associations (IAs) in Bicol region was the highlight of the recently concluded 2nd Irrigators Associations (IAs) Congress in the province, earlier this week.
NIA Administrator Gen. Ricardo R. Visaya led the ceremony which was participated in by some 200 IA leaders from the six Bicol provinces.
In his speech, Administrator Visaya stressed that NIA will continue to construct more irrigation projects in the coming years to improve the farmers’ quality of life.
“Even wala na tayong Irrigation Service Fee (ISF), magpapatuloy pa rin ang ahensiya sa paggabay at pagtulong sa ating magsasaka upang mas mapaunlad pa ang kaalaman nila sa irigasyon”, he added.
As stipulated in the contract, the Irrigators have assumed the responsibility of clearing of lateral canals and the operation & maintenance of secondary irrigation structures and facilities in their respective areas of coverage.
NIA will pay the IAs an amount worth P1,750.00 for the clearing of every 7 kilometers of lined or concrete canal and the same amount for every 3.5 kilometers of unlined or earth canal for a period of six months in a year.
In addition, NIA will pay the IAs the amount of P150.00/hectares of irrigated and planted area every cropping season.
Naga City Mayor John G Bongat also witnessed the event and thankful to what NIA is doing in terms of agricultural productivity.
“We recognized NIA’s contribution to agriculture, which is integral to the economic growth, not just in the Bicol region but also in the entire nation”, he said.
Also, the event serves as a table of discussion to inform the IA leaders about the salient features on Free Irrigation Service Fee (ISF) program, which took effect during the first cropping season of 2017. With this program in place, NIA ceased collecting ISF from its farmer beneficiaries.
The team led by Irrigation Chief Visaya visited also the Hinagyanan Dam in Calabanga to see and inspect the ongoing works on the replacement of dam’s steel gates.