The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) on Thursday approved irrigation projects worth 37.9 billion pesos to be implemented through a public-private partnership.
The NIA Board and the Center for Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) have signed a memorandum of agreement that aims to maximize the use of the latter’s technical services to build the former’s capacity. This will allow NIA to use various forms of PPP for large irrigation projects.
“Through NIA’s commitment to develop climate-smart, multipurpose irrigation systems and increase irrigated area to contribute to overall agricultural productivity and achieve food security, PPP looks forward to accelerating and expanding irrigation development through private sector expertise,” the NIA said in a statement.
In the evaluation and prioritization of public-private partnership projects conducted by the PPP Center, three priority projects were identified, including the Ilocos Norte Ilocos Sur Abra Irrigation Project II (Inisaip II), the Tumaunini River Multipurpose Project (TRMP) and Upper Banaoang Irrigation Project.
The £22.7 billion Inisaip II aims to irrigate approximately 11,100 hectares of agricultural land, using the Palsiguan River as the main source of irrigation water.
“The project is designed to irrigate areas of the province of Ilocos Norte, such as Nueva Era, Cura, Madupayas, Pinili, Badok Sinait and Batak Paoai, through a network of connecting canals,” the NIA said in a statement.
Other planned project goals include fish farming, ecotourism, hydroelectric power generation, and other recreational uses that will help create jobs for the community and voters.
TRMP has an allocation of 8.6 billion pesos to expand coverage of the existing Tumaouini Irrigation System (TIS) to 32 barangays (villages) located in the communities of Tumaouini, Cabagan and Ilagan, all in Isabela.
The TMP includes the construction of a high dam, a peninsula and a long siphon, as well as the improvement and expansion of irrigation facilities.
“It will also provide other spin-offs such as watershed management, ecotourism, and support for renewable energy infrastructure, especially hydropower components and solar farms,” the NIA said in a statement.
Meanwhile, NIA has allocated 6.6 billion pesos to an irrigation project in Upper Banaoang to build a water barrier with the Malapaao River as a water source.
The project is also designed to integrate fish farming and hydropower development projects with a potential service area of 5,000 ha of agricultural land.
NIA emphasized its active commitment to partnering with the PPP program to develop the country’s irrigation network.
“Supporting President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s plans to expand infrastructure projects through PPPs, the NIA, led by Acting Administrative Engineer Eddie G. Guillen, is actively pursuing collaboration on the PPP Program to Develop Irrigated Agriculture in the Philippines,” it said in a statement. said.
The recently concluded NIA board meeting on 37.9 billion pesos irrigation projects was attended by Deputy Minister of Agriculture Leocadio Sebastian, Assistant Minister of National Economy and Development Authority Roderick Planta, NIA Deputy Administrator Ralph Lauren Du, and heads of departments and divisions of the central NIA office.