Sec Pangilinan Praises MARIIS for Focus on Farmers' Income

July 30, 2014, 1:00 PM

Cauayan, Isabela - Secretary Francis "Kiko" N. Pangilinan, Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization praised the Magat River Integrated Irrigation System for its focus not just on rice production but on the farmers' income.

with Secretary Francis "Kiko" N. Pangilininan in the photos are MARIIS OM Mariano G. Dancel, Administrator Florencio F. Padernal (hidden) and Confederation of Irrigators Associations in MARIIS President Nemesio S. Yadao.

On his July 26, 2014 visit, during the MARIIS celebration of the National Irrigation Administration's 51st Anniversary and awarding ceremony of the system's top performers, Sec. Pangilinan commended MARIIS Operations Manager Mariano G. Dancel for including the farmers' income in his presentation.

He said that most presentations he had seen so far only include irrigated areas, equipment, fund allocation and it was the first time that the farmers' income was reported.

"While NIA focuses on increasing the area of irrigated lands, it must always be in tandem with increasing the farmers' income," he added.

He said having 3-4 harvests a year does not matter if our farmers earn the same and continue to live a hard life. He shared what his then 9-year old daughter told him that we should treat farmers the same way we treat our parents because they are the ones feeding us.

He said that some farmers are over 50 years old and they are earning an average income of P23,000 a year and it is sad how they are preyed upon by bogus farmer organizations and foundations.

He said that the Philippine would not be able to establish a progressive economy with a sustainable growth if we could not increase the income of our farmers.

Sec. Pangilinan said this is the strategy the PAFSAM is adapting to be able to provide real support to improve the lives of the Filipino farmers.

NIA Administrator Florencio F. Padernal, who also graced the occasion, called on farmers to provide NIA officials feedback so it could work effectively and efficiently in delivering irrigation services.