NIA Chief Guest at NET 25

August 7, 2013, 3:15 PM

"Para makita kung talagang nagtatrabaho ang head of office", is the response of Engr. Claro V. Maranan, newly installed Administrator of the National Irrigation Administration during a live interview at Net 25 when he was asked what could be the reason why the appointment of an administrator is good for one year only and subject to renewal. Administrator Maranan further said, "it could be less than one year".

Asked about the status of Balog-balog Dam, Maranan explained that the project was already presented and approved on August 5, 2013 by the Cabinet Committee Investment Coordination Committee and now ready for indorsement to NEDA Board. Once approved, procurement can be started and target for completion is May 2016. The project costing P15.8 B will serve 4 cities and 8 municipalities covering about 34,100 hectares benefitting 23,000 farmers in the province of Tarlac. The approved scheme is the construction of the high dam. Aside from irrigation, hydropower and flood control mitigation are also its components.

On the issue of 100% funds already released to NIA, but the accomplishment is only 60%, Administrator Maranan explained that there are cases wherein contractors have not billed NIA or the project is not yet completed. In either case, NIA do not disburse funds, hence, the funds are still intact with NIA coffers. "Hindi nawawala ang pondo", he said.

Other major project that is ongoing is the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project in Iloilo that will serve 2 cities and 23 municipalities covering about 31,840 ha benefitting 24,000 farmers. This project will also serve sugarcane areas. Jalaur project has also a hydropower component.

On the other hand, evaluation of the Balintingon Project in Nueva Ecija is ongoing, and once completed, feasibility study will be started. He also informed the anchormen that there are potential projects in Quezon which he ordered investigation and validation for inclusion in future years because listing of projects for 2014 was already finalized.

When asked what should be done to attain the objective in 2016, Maranan said that his program is focused on rapid delivery of irrigation projects. One of the steps to be taken to achieve this is to increase the authority of the regional office from P40M to P100M to fast track project implementation.

Maranan also explained that rice requirement is about 20 M metric tons. At the moment, ASec Dante Delima informed that we have attained 19 M MT already, so, by the end of 2013, the 20M MT rice requirement is already attained.

On the hot issue of PDAF, Achorman Congressman Dante Marcoleta asked whether NIA is also involved. Maranan said that there are also PDAF coursed through NIA but these are channeled to the LGU.

On how Administrator Maranan maintains the trust and confidence of the President, he said that as Civil Engineer "tinututukan ko ang project implementation, and I will see to that all projects will be completed on time".

In closing Administrator Maranan assured the people especially the farmers that NIA will continue to perform its mandate, "maasahan po ninyo and patuloy na paglilingkod ng NIA tungo sa progresibong Pilipinas". He also gave his cellular phone number so that anybody can call or text him for any assistance needed.