Rehabilitation of Sorsogon irrigation systems urged
by Mharr Loterte and BA Recebido
Province of Sorsogon (5 August) -- Farmers remain optimistic that the Department of Agriculture and the National Irrigation Administration, along with the different local government units, would expedite solutions to the predicament of farmers lamenting the damaged irrigation system or absence of irrigation in agricultural lands in some part of the province.
In a public hearing of the Committee of Agriculture of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan here, the Irrigators' Association of Sorsogon called on the these government entities to give utmost priority in addressing the predicaments of the farmers that have been taking its toll on the agriculture sector, particularly on rice fields and crop lands.
Committee chair Arze Glipo noted that earlier ocular inspection activities conducted by some SP members and local government officials in these areas confirmed that there are indeed vast farm lands that were unutilized due to damaged irrigation system.
It can be recalled that several irrigation facilities were partially or totally destroyed by strong typhoons "Milenyo" and "Reming" in 2006, as well as the series of ash explosions of the Bulusan Volcano for months.
"In Irosin town alone, some 128 hectares of rice lands can not be planted due to the damaged irrigation facilities that are covered with volcanic debris and blocked by boulders, ash and mud deposits; while in some areas, waterways have been damaged by typhoons," Glipo bared.
"If not given utmost attention, these predicaments in our agricultural sector may lead to lower harvest yield and increase in prices of our agricultural products," he added.
"We hope we can restore the existing irrigation facilities, on the other hand, redirect waterways which are beyond repair and build new or alternative irrigation facilities that can help our farmers in the lowlands," remarked Glipo.
Gov. Sally Lee, meanwhile, already assured the stakeholders of the agricultural sector that the Provincial Government will allocate funds from the IRA share to augment finances for the rehabilitation and development of local agriculture industry.
DA and NIA, on the other hand, have since been already conducting assessment of the damaged irrigation facilities and drawing out feasible measures to held the agriculture sector in the province of Sorsogon. (PIA Sorsogon) [top]