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PIA Press Release

NIA extends condonation of irrigation fees

by Susan Aro

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet (2 October) -- The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) extended the condonation of back accounts of irrigation fees of its national irrigation system facilities until December this year.

Dubbed as Compromise Agreement Program (CAP), NIA Regional Irrigation Manager Abraham Akilit said it was supposed to terminate last August but was extended until December to give way to farmer-beneficiaries who have not yet finished paying their back accounts.

The condonation program which allows farmer-beneficiaries to settle irrigation service fee back accounts of national irrigation systems entitles an applicant two-thirds write off of its back account representing the one percent interest rate per month, Akilit said.

Liza Jane Chugsayan of the Operations and Equipment Section said to date only P3.972 million was collected since the condonation program took effect August 6, 2003.

NIA-CAR has computed P60million collectibles for the Kalinga Upper Chico River Irrigation System (UCRIS) 10,000 hectares covering Tabuk and Quezon. This excludes the back accounts for the West Abulog Irrigation System in Apayao, which was formerly with Region II and was recently transferred to the region, as their accumulated account is still being computed.

Of the more than 6,000 farmers or lot owners who have back accounts, about 1,812 applied for CAP. Of those who applied, only 322 were fully paid, 1, 439 farmers have partially paid while 51 applied but never paid.

Chugsayan said the program covers those having back accounts from July 1975 to June 30, 2003 and have P100,000.00 and below payables.

Akilit said that while it is true that they are collecting fees, in a way the benefit goes back to the farmer-beneficiaries. Their office operations and personnel services depend on the income derived from irrigation service fees, equity and amortization fees and equipment rental. (PIA-CAR) [top]

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