The Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) is awaiting the release of fresh funds for more rainwater harvesting-related projects nationwide this year.
“We proposed PHP250 million for that purpose to further promote farmers’ productivity,” said BSWM Design Engineering Section chief Ernesto Brampio.
He said once released, such amount will fund new small water impounding projects (SWIPs), small farm reservoirs, and cisterns that various DA regional offices aim to construct for farmers’ use. Construction of such facilities was previously unfunded, he noted. He said the facilities will help increase the collection and storage of rainwater so farmers can have supplemental water for farming.
The planned SWIPs will be located in 14 sites across Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao, he added.
Earlier, BSWM planned to propose to Malacanang an executive order on accelerating rainwater harvesting in agricultural areas nationwide. Such a plan sought to improve the availability of water for growing crops and livestock.
Brampio said the BSWM no longer pushed through with the plan since there are already rainwater harvesting-related legislative proposals in Congress.
Among the legislative proposals is Senate Bill 36 which provides for the management, control, regulation, and utilization of rainwater runoff as well as improvement of catchment areas’ ecological characteristics to address water supply needs and flooding in the country’s urban and rural centers. (PNA)