Lawmaker stresses importance of irrigation at consultation

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

ASIDE from boosting agricultural productivity, irrigation also plays an important role in mitigating flood.

This was stressed by Negros Occidental Third District Representative Alfredo Benetiz during the consultation and dialogue on the Malogo River Irrigation Program of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) held in Talisay City Monday.

Benitez, in a press statement, cited source of potable water, power component and eco-tourism as also among the five-point benefits of irrigation.

Recognizing the critical water supply in productivity and other development initiatives, the lawmaker initiated the consultation attended by stakeholders from cities of Victorias and Silay, and town of E.B. Magalona.

“The activity mainly seeks to clarify salient points on the NIA program which was conceptualized and proposed in 2014," he said, adding that the project is up for final implementation this year.

Benitez, during the consultation, also underscored the need to analyze program details and cite opportunities for synergy and convergence.

This is to ensure that the program is effectively and efficiently implemented with understanding and acceptance of all concerned, he added.

The NIA Malogo Irrigation Program targets to irrigate 8,625 hectares of farms mostly in the Third District.

The dialogue gathered representatives from the regional, provincial and local offices of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Agriculture, and planning and engineering key staff of component local government units.

Benitez said it is important that all stakeholders understand and accept the program.

Through the dialogue, stakeholders were able to identify the next vital steps to hasten the program implementation.

Also, to address the need for rehabilitation of all irrigation projects in the province for the critical validation in the 2019 budget, the press statement said.

The NIA group was headed by Engineer Jesus Datoon, special projects coordinator for Western Visayas, led the officials and personnel of NIA during the consultation.

Also present were Victorias City Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca, Silay City Mayor Mark Golez, E.B. Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon, and Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino as well as members of irrigators associations. (EPN)