The Duterte administration is committed to implementing programs that will uplift the lives of Filipino farmers, a ranking irrigation official said.
Speaking before officers and members of various irrigators’ associations (IAs) within the service area of Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System (UPRIIS), National Irrigation Administration (NIA) chief Ricardo Visaya said the government’s support includes the provision of heavy equipment and upgraded irrigation service.
“These were on top of the abolition of irrigation service fees (ISFs),” Visaya said.
For one, he said the annual budget for the UPRIIS was increased to over PHP900 million in 2020 which is more than double the previous allocation.
This, he said, is to assure better service to the local farmers who contribute the biggest chunk in national rice production.
“Siyempre pag titingnan natin ang rice production ay Region 3 [Central Luzon] at Region 2 [Cagayan Valley] ang nangunguna (Of course, if we are going to look into the rice production, Region 3 and Region 2 are leading),” he said.
Visaya graced the 2nd Stakeholders Forum hosted by UPRIIS that is headed by department manager Rosalinda Bote.
During the forum, farmers were able to air their requests and observation to constructively participate in the agency’s programs.
Bote said her line, and those of other officials, are kept open to stakeholders.
Aside from the presentation of the status of irrigation development and projects, the forum was highlighted by the signing of covenant of support by the NIA and its stakeholders for faster and better implementation of irrigation projects. (PNA)