P8-B earmarked for irrigation in 2008
by Rachelle Nessia
Dumaguete City (7 September) -- The government has earmarked a total of P8 billion for irrigation projects under the national budget for 2008.
Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said the P8 billion allocation is enough to irrigiate an additional 100,000 hectares of farmlands nationwide.
The President said that some P3.4 billion will also be used to rehabilitate existing irrigation projects through the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).
This is good news for farmers in Negros Oriental as the province still has about 19,000 hectares of potential area for irrigation development.
The potential areas are in Bais City, Tanjay City, Tamlang Valley, Pamplona, Nasulog in Canlaon City, Ibayo and Magsaysay in Guihulngan, Mandapaton in La Libertad and Amlan, said Engr. Dexter Patricinio, Provincial Irrigation Officer of NIA here.
Of the total 19,000 hectares, 56 percent are now in irrigation development stage. "Right now, we are irrigating 10,000 hectares," said Patrocinio.
The province will need roughly P2.3 million to irrigate the remaining 9,000 hectares of potential areas.
"Each hectare will cost about P200,000 to P250,000 to irrigate," he said.
Patrocinio said that the remaining potential areas in the province need to be irrigated soon. "Water is needed for farming," he stressed.
Currently, there are 65 communal irrigation systems providing water to farmlands from Basay to Canlaon City.
NIA's records show that a total of 31 irrigation system projects are now ongoing in the province covering a total of 5,948 hectares. (PIA) [top]