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PIA Press Release
2007/09/04

PGMA earmarks P8 billion for irrigation, P5 billion for FMRs under 2008 budget

PALAYAN CITY, Nueva Ecija (4 September) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said here yesterday that the government has earmarked P8 billion for irrigation projects and P5 billion for farm-to-market roads (FMRs) under the national budget for 2008.

She said the P8 billion allocation is enough to irrigate an additional 100,000 hectares of farmlands, while the P5 billion will fund the construction of 3,000 kilometers of farm roads nationwide.

The President helicoptered to Barangay Manggahan, this city yesterday morning to inaugurate the P295-million Aulo Dam.

"Sa 2008, naglaan tayo ng P5 billion para sa mahigit tatlong libong kilometro ng kalsadang bukid. Sa irigasyon naman, P8 billion ang gugugulin, mas mataas ng kalahating bilyon sa badyet ngayong taon. Sandaang libong ektarya ang magkakaroon ng bago o isinaayos na patubig," she said.

The President added that some P3.4 billion will also be used to rehabilitate existing irrigation projects through the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

"Hahawakan ng National Irrigation Administration o NIA ang P3.4 billion ng badyet sa irigasyon para sa pagpapaayos ng mga patubig na itinayo natin."

The Aulo Dam, or Aulo Small Reservoir Irrigation Project, can irrigate a total of 810 hectares of orchards and ricelands.

With the completion of the dam, farmers can now plant rice two times a year instead of only one cropping season in previous years, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap told the President.

In her opening statement at the open-air Pulong Bayan here, the President said the fruits of the reforms instituted by her administration are beginning to trickle down to the ordinary people, including the Novo Ecijanos.

"Dahil sa ating mga reporma na nag-ambag sa kaban ng bayan, lalo nating naipadarama sa milyun-milyong Pilipino ang mga biyaya ng malakas na ekonomiya. Noong Huwebes, iniulat natin ang pinakamabilis na paglago ng ekonomiya sa loob ng halos dalawampung taon," she said.

"Dito sa Nueva Ecija, inaasahan nating nararamdaman ang biyaya ng paglagong ito sa mga proyektong patubig at kalsadang bukid. Kabilang ang mga Novo Ecijano - nangunguna pa nga - sa libu-libong magsasaka na nakinabang sa halos isang milyong ektaryang bagong isinaayos na irigasyon mula 2001," the President added.

Under the 2008 national budget, P1.5 billion will be earmarked for the Casecnan Dam, P700 million for the Binaogang project in Ilocos Sur, P250 million for the Balog-Balog project in Tarlac and irrigation projects in southern Philippines.

The President explained that through her administration's farm-to-market road and irrigation projects, "lalong maipadarama sa taong bayan ang mga biyaya ng reporma sa ekonomiya, lalo na ang pagdami ng abot-kayang pagkain dahil sa pagtaas ng ani at mas maginhawang pagdala sa mga mamimili."

The President also released sacks full of bangus fingerlings into the Aulo Dam waterway.

The Aulo Irrigation Small Reservoir Irrigation Project can irrigate a total of 810 hectares, consisting of 445 hectares of ricelands and 365 hectares of orchard farms.

Started in June 2001, the Aulo Small Reservoir Irrigation Project was completed on Jan. 31, 2007.

Among the Novo Ecijano officials who attended the Pulong Bayan were Gov. Aurelio Umali, Vice Gov. Edward Tomas Joson, Palayan City Mayor Romeo Capinpin, and Congressmen Eduardo Nonato Joson (1st district), Joseph Gilbert Violago (2nd district), Cherie Umali (3rd district), and Rodolfo Antonino (4th district). (PIA) [top]

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