The government, through the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP), has approved five Communal Irrigation System (CIS) projects in Banaue worth PHP30.42 million.

The projects are geared toward national rice sufficiency, steady supply of irrigation water, and rehabilitating abandoned rice terraces in the Cordilleras.

The irrigation projects are located in the top heirloom rice producing barangays of Banaue, Ifugao: Amganad, Viewpoint, Bocos, Poitan, Kinakin, Luutan, and Imbangnge.

Elvys Taquio of the PRDP, an attached unit of the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera said on Friday the projects are: the construction of the Amchu-uy – Bae CIS worth PHP2.26 million; improvement of the Luutan-Imbangnge-Bayungon CIS worth PHP7.27 million; improvement of Bongbongna-Poitan CIS amounting to PHP7.33 million; improvement of the Aparnga-o-Ligligan CIS worth PHP6.768 million; and the improvement of Aparnga-o – Ki-iyang CIS project worth PHP6.77 million.

He said that once completed, the CIS projects are expected to increase the number of irrigated areas in the region, and thus, improve rice yields.

Taquio said that the irrigation projects, upon completion, would be turned over to the beneficiary communities for management and maintenance.

He related that a pre-construction conference was held last Feb. 27 that gathered the Municipal Project Management and Implementing Unit (MPMIU) and the subproject contractors where PRDP rules were clarified to avoid project delays.

Included in the discussion were the requirements and process flow for the release of funds, payment to the contractors, procurement, progress monitoring through geo-tagging, social and environmental concerns, and construction supervision requirements.

Taquio said among the concerns aired by the contractors that could cause delays were the locals’ cultural practices and rituals.

PRDP projects are foreign-funded and follow stringent rules and procedures to assure proper project implementation. (PNA)