Deputy speaker seeks more irrigation projects for massive food production
By Freddie G. Lazaro
Candon City (29 August) -- House Deputy Speaker Eric D. Singson (2nd District - Ilocos Sur) sought the construction of more irrigation projects that will provide sufficient water requirements for growing of rice crops in the fields nationwide.
This is to address the country's problem on shortage of rice for the Filipinos considering that the growing and level of production of crops will depend on the availability of adequate water supply.
"Even we have enough farm inputs like fertilizers if we don't have sufficient water supply in the growing of crops, it's useless because our crops will primarily depend on water," Singson told Thursday.
This developed the lawmaker to call the attentions of the officials from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) to discuss matters regarding the construction, rehabilitation and repair of the different irrigations systems in Northern Luzon as well as the whole nation.
According to Singson, the areas of irrigated lands of the country are continuously declining as reported to his office.
"Based in a report reaching to my office, the irrigated lands during the time of former President Ferdinand Marcos had not been fully maintained. Only 50% from the total irrigated lands during Marcos era were remained irrigated as of this time," Singson noted.
"So, I'm urging my fellow lawmakers, heads of the concerned government agencies and non -government organization and local officials to embark programs servicing farmers on rice farming because our major concern today is food," he added.
Singson, who is one of the chairman of cluster of lawmakers concerning on economic development, said that he is helping in putting up the provision of more irrigation projects as the top priority program by the national government to attain the country's optimum rice production.
"We need to act now because our country is already far behind from Vietnam and Thailand in terms of rice production. It was sad to say that rice technologists from these countries were learned from us, as they were studying agriculture in our prominent agricultural university here," Singson told.
Today, the congressman disclose that he is presently maintaining three big irrigation projects servicing thousands farmers from the second district of Ilocos Sur. These existing irrigation systems include the Burgos - Sta. Maria Irrigation System, the Sta. Lucia - Candon City Irrigation System and the Suyo - Tagudin Irrigation System.
The lawmaker is also pursuing the construction of Phase II of Banaoang Pump Irrigation Project along Banaoang River in Santa, Ilocos Sur to serve thousands farmers in the northern portion of the second district of the province.
To help farmers from the sudden soaring on prices of fertilizers, he urged all established cooperatives in the province with his assistance to venture on direct purchase or importation scheme.
He said that if the direct purchase of fertilizer will be realized, the farmers could save about 25% from the present price of fertilizer from the local market ranging from about P1, 900.00 to P2, 100.00 per bag. (PIA Ilocos Sur) [top]