Issue of February 11, 2018

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UCRIS rehab set on March 20, irrigation cut off temporarily
by Ofelia C. Empian

Irrigation in some areas of Kalinga and Isabela will be temporarily cut off by March 20 to make way for the rehabilitation of the Upper Chico River Irrigation System, according to the National Irrigation Administration-Cordillera.

Noly Sabado, head of the operations and maintenance section of NIA-Kalinga, said the rehabilitation project is targeted to be completed by June 30 this year.

The agency is currently having an information drive to remind the affected farmers of the impending cut-off. 

“We have put up posters and have been going to various radio stations to broadcast the cut-off of irrigation for the awareness of our farmers,” he said.

The rehabilitation project worth P135 million will cover the concrete lining of the canal, construction of the gabion riprap protection works, and procurement and installation of steel gates at check structures. 

NIA terminated the contract of the previous contractor, Markbilt Construction/RD Policarpio and Co. Inc, due to its underperformance in carrying out the P450 million project funded by World Bank, which started in 2013.

This prompted NIA to take over the project with a remaining balance of P135M for the rehabilitation, which is funded under World Bank’s Participatory Irrigation Development Project or PIDP. 

The PIDP project was supposed to have ended on Feb. 27, 2017 but was it extended until Aug. 31.

Through the recommendation of World Bank, the project was divided into 13 packages for faster repair and was opened to various contractors especially those from the locality. 

Sabado said the World Bank will audit the project by August.

UCRIS provides irrigation to more than 11,000 hectares of rice farms and about 10,000 farmers in Pinukpuk and Tabuk City, Kalinga; and nearby Mallig and Quezon in Isabela.

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