NIA set to optimize water management program
By Mai Gevera
Davao City (24 February) -- The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) is set to optimize water management that will be disseminated to the farmers.
In a briefing held in this city, the NIA cited various measures that the office has prepared as the country faces the effects of El Nino phenomenon.
Some P260 million will be spent in optimizing water delivery and rescheduling, and P398,930 for the purchase and distribution of 1,500 units of Pump and Engine sets by the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BWSM).
NIA is closely working with the Department of Agriculture as irrigation appears to be hardly hit by the said phenomenon.
Some provinces in Region XI namely Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, and Davao City are among the moderately vulnerable provinces hit by El Nino.
The DA estimated over 200,000 metric tons of palay, corn and other crops damaged by the dry spell. These crops reached an aggregate value of P2.84 billion.
NIA, on its part, is tasked to intensify the rehabilitation of existing irrigation system. It has also planned to manage septage loses such that 30 percent water loss could be saved and still be used for irrigation purposes.
Expecting a worst case scenario, the DA has also laid out a long-term plan that involves other national government agencies as well as local government units.
LGUs were tasked to come up with master lists of affected farmers that would qualify for food aid under the Emergency Food Assistance Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is tapped to provide skills training programs for possible emergency employment for the construction or repair of farm-to-market roads and irrigation facilities.
Funds are also poured to areas affected by the dry spell. The Sugar Regulatory Administration is doing cloudseeding activities, the Philippine Coconut Authority delivered 54,500 bags of salt or sodium chloride worth P19 million to 13,625 coconut growers. (PIA XI) [top]