Iwahig Penal-Balsahan Irrigation Project Inaugurated

January 18, 2013, 9:15 AM

Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala led other guests in the inauguration of the Iwahig Penal-Balsahan Irrigation Project in Puerto Princesa. Said irrigation project which is located within the property of the penal colony was constructed and completed in five (5) months. Total project cost of P40 M, it will irrigate about 414 hectares.

Unlike other NIA Projects, the Iwahig Irrigation Project was constructed with labor force provided by the inmates of the Penal Colony. They were such good and efficient construction workers that the project was completed ahead of schedule. The inmates were also very grateful for the opportunity given them to work on the project as this will give them income to meet their personal needs.

In a dialogue between Secretary Alcala, Bureau of Corrections Director General Gaudencio Pangilinan, NIA Administrator Antonio S. Nangel agreed to introduce other programs within the Iwahig Penal Colony to make the inmates productive once they get out from Iwahig Penal Colony.

Secretary Alcala was impressed by which the irrigation project was completed because it would mean additional area for production. He said, we are on the right track of achieving our rice self-sufficiency goal. For his part, NIA Administrator acknowledged the support and cooperation of the officials of the Iwahig Penal Colony, the LGU and vowed to continue supporting irrigation development in the province of Palawan.

According to BuCor Director Pangilinan, the harvest from the irrigated area will be enough to sustain about 3,000 employees and inmates in the colony. They practice progressive farming in that, some portions of the irrigated area is under land preparation/transplanting, normal irrigation and harvesting. The colony can be described as a self-sustaining community because it also boost of inland fishponds where they grow tilapia; vegetables garden, livestocks, fruit trees and other source of food.