The National irrigation Administration- Magat River Integrated Irrigation System (NIA – MRIIS) will be implementing free irrigation service fee as the present administration’s campaign promise during the 2016 elections.
Engr. Wilfredo Gloria, NIA- MRIIS operations manager said his office has received the order from the NIA management for the free irrigation service fee starting this cropping season.
Gloria said rice farmers using water from the Magat Dam reservoir will no longer worry of their irrigation service fee as the NIA will no longer be collecting it.
However, Gloria said exempted from free irrigation service fee are corporate ponds and fish ponds drawing water from irrigation canals.
He also said farmers with outstanding balances in the last cropping and billing before the implementation of free irrigation service fee are still obliged to pay their balances to NIA.
Gloria said the government has allocated PHP2 billion to implement the program.
Rice farmers in the province felt a sigh of relief expressing thanks to the Duterte administration for the long plight of rice farmers.
Alfredo Ancheta, Isabela rice farmer, said he usually pays more than PHP3,000 per cropping season but now, he can use the amount for his family expenses. (PNA) FPV/SCD/MGE