NIA targets to develop 85% of irrigable lands

October 24, 2017 at 14:30

NIA targets to develop 85% of irrigable lands



THE NATIONAL Irrigation Administration (NIA) is targeting to develop some 85% of total irrigable lands in two decades which can be achievable as long as their annual budget is not cut down further to its current level.

“We can still attain 85% after 20 years, 85% of the irrigable lands. Kapag may 85% tayong irrigable lands, meron tayong rice-sufficiency,” NIA Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya told reporters on Friday.

At present, the country sees an increment of 1% to 2% per year of developed lands, according to the official.

NIA, throughout its 50-year existence, has so far developed 1.85 million hectares, or some 59% of the 3.12 million hectares suitable to be developed with irrigation systems.

For this year, the agency is eyeing to install irrigation across 23,115 hectares and restore some 13,507 hectares to improve services.

The targeted irrigable lands, originally at a 100% goal last June to be finished by 2022, was stretched to a 20-year blueprint and revised down to more than three-fourths of the initial target.

Ang hirap eh. That’s why we would like to triple sana. Kaya we proposed for a P56 billion for 2018 sana pero ang naapprubahan, naging P40 [billion],” Mr. Visaya added.

The NIA is proposing a budget of P45.86 billion for 2018 – initially at P56.95 billion.

To achieve the revised plan, the NIA administrator said the agency will need at least P40 billion yearly. He said he expects an increase in funds in the years ahead as the agency hikes efforts to develop irrigation systems across the country.

Magiincrease talaga yan kasi while we are building dams, we need more fund to maintain and operate the irrigation systems eh,” Mr. Visaya said.

He said one of the technologies NIA is promoting is hydro-generated dam projects.

Latest figures of NIA show that the country is dotted with 387 dams potential hydropower development.

Kapag meron tayong hydropower, halimbawa etong 387, multiply mo yung 6% of the gross income ng gumawa ng hydropower, ibibigay sa government,” Mr. Visaya said, referring to the portion accorded to government.

“Continuous yung nag-aapply ngayon,” Mr. Visaya added. – Janina C. Lim


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