The construction of various irrigation projects in the years 2020 and 2021 has been impeded by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the National Irrigation Administration (NIA)-Palawan, with just 76 percent completed as of now.

In a Kapihan hosted by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) on Thursday, NIA-Palawan division manager, Engr. Conrado Cardenas Jr., said the Palawan Irrigation Management Office has a total of 10 projects in the province and explained that COVID-19 protocols affected the meeting of deadlines for projects in different towns.

“Number one talaga sa pandemic, may protocols tayo dyan sa municipalities. Hindi naman namin nilalagpasan ‘yong mga protocols sa munisipyo like ‘yong El Nido, Bataraza, and parteng Busuanga. Sa Busuanga ay wala kami masakyan na barko — hindi kami basta makapagpatrabaho, sumusunod kami sa bilang lang ng nagtatrabaho,” Cardenas said.

“At least na-attain namin na naging operational at napapakinabangan na ngayon,” he added.

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Some of the irrigation projects under 2021 are already operational, Cardenas mentioned.

He added that one project, which is located in Barangay Inagawan-sub, is currently waiting for the approval of a memorandum of agreement with the Bureau of Corrections.

He also said that one project in Brgy. Indalawan, Balabac, which was started in the year 2020, is not yet fully completed but is already operational.

“Yong 2020 projects natin, almost completed na, 98 percent. Meron lang kaming naiwan project sa Indalawan, Balabac. Iti-terminate namin ang contract. Kasi nagkaroon ng protocol, hindi kami basta nakapunta roon,” he said.

For 2022, NIA-Palawan IMO has eight projects to implement, including small irrigation projects (SIP) in Busuanga, a multi-phase project with a P62 million budget, in Taytay town, and in Sumbiling, Bataraza.

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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.