Creation of Bangsamoro Irrigation Coordinating Office sought

Published June 17, 2021, 10:54 AM

by Zea Capistrano

DAVAO CITY – The Bangsamoro Parliament mulls to create a Bangsamoro Irrigation Coordinating Office to address the irrigation gaps in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) including the investigation of potential water resources in the region for use in irrigation.

According to Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Bill No. 107 or the Bangsamoro Irrigation Coordinating Act of 2021 filed by Members of the Parliament (MP) Engr. Baintan Adil Ampatuan, Amir Mawallil, and Atty. Laisa Alamia, “the Bangsamoro region still has vast irrigation potentials that will address food security and rice sufficiency in the region if properly developed.”

In a statement on Wednesday (June 16), the BTA Parliament said under the proposed bill, the irrigation coordinating office will be under the Chief Minister’s Office and will work in coordination with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

“Based on the Bangsamoro Development Plan 2020-2022, the region’s potential irrigable lands were around 160,150 hectares, while the area served was only approximately 50,096 hectares, implying a development rate of 31.28 percent of the irrigable areas,” the BTA Parliament said.

The BTA said the office will “assess and inventory all inland waters such as lakes, rivers, river systems, and streams within BARMM territorial jurisdiction.”

The office will “serve as the coordinating agency for the overall development of all types of irrigation, with priority on the national, communal, and individual system of irrigation,” it added.