(Photos from NIA MIMAROPA and Palawan IMO)

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) assured farmers access to funding opportunities for the rehabilitation of damaged irrigation dams and canals in Palawan to raise the productivity of farming within the service areas.

It is the top concern raised by the 121 irrigators associations (IA) that participated in their annual congress on October 22, representing the 9,835 farmer-beneficiaries. Benny Antiporda, who is in charge of the NIA, promised that damage from typhoons and mining would be fixed.

The agency added that its budget was restricted for two years due to devolution but stressed that it is “doing its best” to fix the damaged projects.

The annual IA congress aims to strengthen ties and partnerships with farmers in order to focus on long-term irrigation services in the province. The agency thinks it will help the province reach its goal of having enough food.

The participating IAs have a service area of 27, 816.29 hectares supported by NIA irrigation projects.

“Ang lahat ng nasirang irrigation dam ay inyong mapopondohan at nagpapasalamat ako na ngayon ay matutugunan na ang aming problema sa aming kanal,” Mayola Destura, IA president of Catimlon IA Inc.

The IA congress is organized by the NIA MIMAROPA under the leadership of Regional Manager Engr. Ronilio M. Cervantes and Palawan IMO Division Manager Engr. Fidel P. Martinez. It includes the participation of IA officials from the National and Communal Irrigation Systems and other government agencies.