Issue of January 7, 2018
     
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NIA–CAR sets P1.6 billion fund for 2018 irrigation projects
by Ofelia C. Empian

A total of P1.6 billion is budgeted for various irrigation projects in the Cordillera this 2018, according to the regional office of the National Irrigation Administration.

NIA-Cordillera Acting Manager, Engr. Benito Espique Jr., said the provinces with national systems that needed repairs get the highest budgets, such as Ifugao with its Alfonso Lista pump irrigation project getting P390 million.

Also getting a huge chunk of the budget with P360M is Apayao due to the much-needed repair in the West Abulug Irrigation System or WAIS.

Kalinga has been allotted P353M including the budget for some parts of the Upper Chico River Irrigation System aside from the remaining P135M budget from the Participatory Irrigation Development Project (PIDP) funded by the World Bank.

Benguet, meanwhile, gets P175M while Abra and Mountain Province will receive P165M and P147M for their respective projects.

Espique said they are targeting to supply irrigation to new areas with a total of 2, 844 hectares and to restore and improve existing irrigation systems and address the necessary repair works for 407 hectares in the region.

“We hope it can suffice all the projects for the year 2018 with the P300-M increase in budget,” Espique said.

As of Dec. 2017, NIA-CAR has irrigated a total area of 96, 227.54 hectares including existing areas being serviced by various irrigation projects of the agency.

NIA reported that among the provinces in the region, Benguet has the biggest number of farms with an estimated 27.5 thousand hectares.

Benguet accounted for 22.9 percent of the total farms in the region where areas under agricultural land comprised 10.8 percent of the total land area of the province as agriculture has been the traditional source of employment for most of the people in the province.


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