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PIA Press Release

Irrigation projects now allotted more budget

by SC Aro

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet (7 September) -- The National Irrigation Administration Benguet Office reported that P23 million worth of irrigation projects under the three-year pump priming project of the agency will be completed next month.

Benguet Provincial Irrigation Engineer Benito Espique said the amount was allotted for the restoration, repair and rehabilitation of NIA-assisted projects that would irrigate 526.65 hectares of land, 263 hectares for non-rice and 263.5 for rice producing areas.

Beneficiaries to the project would be 927 farmers and could generate an employment of 1,064 individuals based on NIA reports.

Of the 31 projects, 18 were already completed while 13 are still ongoing targeted for completion October this year.

The three-year pump priming irrigation project is a component of the North Luzon Agri-Business Quadrangle aimed to spur agricultural development.

Seeing the need to enhance the irrigation facilities which would redound to increase in agricultural production, the province's main source of livelihood, the national government increased funding for irrigation projects compared with those allotted in the previous years with an average funding of P6 million to P8 million annually according to Espique. However, last year, the budget allocation increased to P12 million.

Moreover, in line with the commitment of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to earmark P8 billion for irrigation projects for 2008, Benguet submitted proposed short list and long list of irrigation projects.

Espique said the proposed P11.8 million worth of projects under the short list are the Balikatan Sagip Patubig (BSP) P2.3 million; Rigid for pump construction and rehabilitation - P500,000.00; and Repair and Rehab P9 million which includes Apugan in Baguio City.

For the proposed long list of projects worth more or less P70 million, components are repair and rehab, P50 million; BSP, P15 million; Rigid, P900,000.00; survey for Highland Agno River Basin Irrigation Project, P1 million and the more than P1 million allotted for other projects.

Espique said the top management of NIA is doing its best to work out for the inclusion of all the short and long listed projects that would sustain and increase agricultural production. (PIA-Benguet) [top]

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