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Fifty percent of the 34 projects for 2019 of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Palawan Irrigation Management Office (IMO) had been completed as of October.

Palawan IMO manager engineer Conrado Cardenas, Jr said that the low accomplishment percentage as of October 2019 was due to delays in project implementation as the budget allocation was released only around month of August.

“Fifty percent na yong 2019 projects natin kasi nadelay yong release ng pera natin, dumating ay August na kaya kami ngayon ay nagdo-double time kami to complete the project hanggang December but kasi before Deecember, the month of November to December, nandyan ang procurement naming. Ibi-bidding na namin yong pang-2020,” Cardenas said.

Cardenas said that time must be maximized during months of dry season so the project will be completed as rainy season comes.

“Delay ang implementation kasi yong budget nga natin dumating ay August na, tag-ulan ito. Tag-ulan ang August hanggang September ay irrigation itong ginagawa natin so nasa tubig tayo, nasa ilog, isa yong dahilan. Kaya dapat by summer, ang release ng pera kailangan January hangga’t mainit, hanggang April o May,” he said.

Cardenas said that as 2019 ends, NIA Palawan IMO must have 90 percent accomplishment of its projects in the province.

He said that NIA Palawan IMO has a budget of P436 million allocated for the projects in 2019. While in 2020, it has a budget of P386 million for 32 projects.

“From 800 million, pababa nang pababa, naging mababa na nga siya ngayon pero noon may program kami, almost a billion. Pagdating sa congress nababawasan, inabot ng P386 (million),” he said.

One of the major funded projects of NIA Palawan IMO is the Ibato-Iraan irrigation project in the town of Aborlan which is now for rebidding for new contractor after its former contractor, Oscar R. Sarmiento Construction Inc. (ORSCI) failed to accomplish the project on its timeline.

Meanwhile, the rebidding of the remaining P454-million project is now published and was approved by the NIA board. It is expected that there will be a procurement by the month of November to December.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.