April 30, 2024, 2:20 PM

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., along with NIA Administrator Engr. Eduardo Eddie G. Guillen, marked a significant milestone with the inauguration of the Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project – Stage II (MMIP-II) on April 29, 2024 in Barangay Bagoinged, Pikit, Cotabato. President Marcos led the official opening of the Right Main Canal 2 Headgate of Laterals C and D that convey the water 36 kilometers away from Maridagao Dam to the said barangay.

“Sa awa ng Diyos, narito tayo ngayon para pasinayahan ang MMIP-II na tiyak na makatutulong sa ating mga kababayan dito. Pinili namin ang lugar na ito para sa inagurasyon upang ipakita na ang tubig mula sa Maridagao River kahit na malayo ay kaya nang ipaabot ang tubig pang-irigasyon sa ating mga magsasaka dito sa Pikit Cotabato”, said NIA Administrator Guillen during the event.

MMIP-II is a multi-year project covering the municipalities of Pikit and Aleosan in Cotabato, and Pagalungan and Datu Paglas in Maguindanao Del Sur, BARMM. The project is designed to irrigate 9,528 hectares of farmland, benefiting around 4,000 farmers, including former MILF combatants or the decommissioned combatants. The project aims not only to increase agricultural productivity and livelihoods but also to improve peace and order in the region. The irrigation project, a testament to visionary leadership and collaborative efforts, signifies a new era of progress and unity in the Philippines.

During President Marcos’ message, he passionately highlighted the great importance of irrigation as a catalyst for sustainable development and societal well-being.

"Ang canal ng MMIP-II ay hindi lang agusan ng tubig. Hindi lang daluyan ng buhay at bukal ng pag-asa ng ating lahi. Without water, there are no farms. Without farms, [there will be] no food. No food, no life. Therefore, water is life", the President said in his speech.

He also extended his appreciation to all government agencies, especially the NIA, who strived for the immediate completion of the project, and to the local governments, uniformed personnel, stakeholders, and local leaders for their collaborative efforts during the construction of the project. Furthermore, the inauguration ceremony served as a platform to celebrate the spirit of unity and cooperation among the attendees. Their collective efforts paved the way for a brighter, more prosperous future, where every Filipino can thrive and prosper. Through the synergy of various agencies, stakeholders, and communities, we draw closer to realizing the vision of food security championed by #BagongPilipinas.

Also present at the ceremony were NIA Region XII Officials, headed by Engr. Diosdado A. Rosales, officials from the Provincial Government of Cotabato and Maguindanao, representatives from other aligned agencies, such as the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), other local chief executives, media partners, and farmer-beneficiaries.