The National Irrigation Administration (NIA), under the leadership of Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya, inaugurated the newly rehabilitated Malatgao River Irrigation System (Malatgao RIS) and turned over nine (9) units of Irrigators Association (IA) Building and two (2) units of combined IA offices and post-harvest facilities, on November 25, 2019 in the Municipalities of Narra and Aborlan, Palawan.
Cabinet Secretary and Chairman of NIA Board Karlo Alexei B. Nograles led the inauguration and turnover ceremony. Joining him were NIA Deputy Administrator for Administrative and Finance Sector Romeo G Gan, Deputy Chief of Mission (Japan Embassy) Yasushi Yamamoto, Agricultural Attache (Japan Embassy) Tetsuharo Mori, and Senior Representative Jin Hirosawa of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The irrigation system under the National Irrigation Sector Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (NISRIP) is funded through a grant from JICA amounting to P189,363,679.42. The project is expected to provide timely and reliable irrigation service to 3,014.73 hectares of agricultural land in the Municipalities of Narra and Aborlan, benefitting 1,585 farmers and their families.
The rehabilitation works of Malatgao RIS involved three (3) diversion dams, 25.26 kilometers of concrete canal lining, 23.77 kilometers of gravel surfacing, 42 canal structures, one (1) drainage structure, 55 turnout structures, nine (9) IA office buildings, and two (2) IA offices with support facilities.
In his message, Cabinet Secretary Nograles emphasized the contribution of Malatgao RIS in the agriculture sector of the country: “To sustain the momentum (of the country’s agricultural growth), irrigation is key and the irrigation system like the one we are inaugurating today is part of government efforts to continue building on the progress we have made in the agriculture sector.”
Benefitting both farmers and consumers through Malatgao RIS, CabSec Nograles added: “We acknowledged that irrigation is one of the keys to improving farmers’ productivity which will redound to the benefit of both farmers and consumers - as increased productivity translates to lower production cost and greater profits, and lower prices for the consumers. With this project, we hope to boost per hectare productivity by 25 - 50% - improvements that will benefit 3,000 farmers and their families, and the thousands of Filipinos especially in Palawan who are dependent on rice.”
Nograles also thanked JICA for the continuous assistance of the government of Japan to the Philippines particularly in Palawan, “As long as the province of Palawan, JICA has lent its helping hand. Maraming salamat po!”
Among those who spearheaded the inauguration and turnover ceremony were NIA MIMAROPA Regional Manager William P. Ragodon, Palawan Irrigation Management Office (IMO) Manager Conrado V. Cardenas, Jr., NISRIP Project Manager Silvino C. Navarro, and Public Affairs and Information Manager Pilipina P. Bermudez.
NIA, as the lead government agency mandated to develop all possible sources of water for irrigation, remains committed to its mandate of providing reliable and sustainable irrigation services to our farmers through the construction of irrigation projects and rehabilitation of existing irrigation systems.
NIA Deputy Administrator for Administrative and Finance Sector Romeo G Gan (Middle Right) with Deputy Chief of Mission (Japan Embassy) Yasushi Yamamoto (Middle Left), Agricultural Attache (Japan Embassy) Tetsuharo Mori (Second from Left), JICA Senior Representative Jin Hirosawa (Second from Right), and other NIA officials during the Unveiling of the Marker on the Turnover Ceremony of P189.36-million Malatgao RIS