National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Palawan Irrigation Management Office (IMO) awarded as Best Irrigation Management in 2018 nationwide. (Photo credit for background photo: NIA Palawan IMO)

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Palawan Irrigation Management Office (IMO) recently received the “2018 Best Irrigation Management Award”, boosted by its completion of 34 projects for the year.

Engineer Conrado Cardenas Jr., Palawan IMO manager said in an interview that the recognition for 2018 was only given recently due to the accomplishment of the agency of 34 projects worth P438 million.

“Number one natin dyan ay coordination with LGUs at saka direct sa farmer-beneficiaries, stakeholders and ‘yong potential areas for developments. ‘Yong nasa program at least magiging attainable at serviceable by year-end so ‘yong 2018 na projects at least kapag year-end serviceable na, kailangan ay hundred percent,” he said.

Cardenas said the largest new projects that NIA Palawan IMO funded amount to P30 million each in Barangay Caruray, San Vicente; Brgy. Caranyugan, Narra; Brgy. Inogbong, Bataraza; and Brgy. Maubog, Taytay.

He said that the common problems the agency encountered in the accomplishment of the 2018 projects were right of way issues, force majeure or unforeseeable circumstances, and calamities.

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Cardenas said that the Palawan IMO did not expect the first recognition from the national level, although, it already received awards for five years in a region-wide scope.

“Malaking impact niya kasi number one Palawan considered as best island in the world, tapos ito pa ang naging standing sa NIA sa irrigation management office. Ang purpose ng mga pumupunta dito ay hindi lang para doon sa beauty ng Palawan, sa mga island resorts, nature, kundi pupuntahan din nila ang opisina, environmental scanning, at least dalawang purpose,” he said.

Palawan IMO aims to finish at least 85% of the total of 26 projects in 2019.

Cardenas said that the agency hopes to finish the small irrigation projects (SIP) in Caraniogan, Narra; Timburan, Libertad, and Talog in Taytay until the first quarter of 2020.

“Small irrigation project amounting to P117 million — seven new projects, ang pinakamalaki dyan ay Caraniogan, that is in Narra with service area na 100 hectares; Timburan that is in Taytay, 100 hectares, amounting to P25 million; Libertad that is also in Taytay, 60 hectares, pero aabutin siya ng 100 hectares, and Talog in Taytay, 32 million, a total of 360 hectares,” he said.

He said that the SIPs in Caraniogan, Narra and the sitios of Timburan and Libertad in Taytay are now partially operational ranging from 70-80 percent completion accomplishment. Aside from the late budget release, Palawan IMO considers the weather condition as also a challenge in fast-tracking the completion of projects.

“Ang unang strategy na ginagawa namin, once na ang project ay na-i-bid namin then alam namin ‘yong contractor ay responsive, hindi naman nag-fail, kinakausap naming sila kung kaya nila mag-take risk na gawin yong project kahit wala pa MTP (medium term plan),” he said.

In 2020, Palawan IMO awaits the full implementation of the small reservoir irrigation project (SRIP) with a P326 million budget.

On November 14, the procurement will start in the NIA head office and the awarding of the project will be in 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.