BANGUED, Abra – About 2,085 farmers in three towns of this province are expected to benefit much from the Abra River Irrigation System which will soon be fully operational after undergoing massive rehabilitation.
A total of P300 million has been allotted for the rehabilitation of the Abra RIS mainly on the initiative of Congressman Joseph Sto. Niño Bernos.
According to Engr. Ronald Bisquerra, provincial head of the National Irrigation Administration Abra Satellite Office, the budget allocation includes the rehabilitation of three irrigation systems in Bangued, Tayum and Pidigan towns.
The rehabilitation and improvement of Bangued and Tayum projects were fully completed last year, and only the Pidigan area remains to be completed this year. The target time for the Pidigan rehabilitation is July this year.
Bisquerra said the project covers the lining or concreting of all parts of the main and lateral canals which prevents water seepage when earth canal used to be the feature of the said irrigation system. With the concreting of the canal, the irrigation water will be optimized.
The project also includes the improvement of embankments and repair of structure components along the irrigation system.
The project started last year with an aggregate budget of P300 million broken down into three packages, namely, Bangued with P120M budget allocation, Tayum with P100M and Pidigan with P80M funding.
The actual irrigated area for Abra RIS is 2,010 hectares with a total of 2,085 farmers who are benefitting from the irrigation system.
The breakdown of the actual irrigated areas and farmers who benefit per municipality are as follows: Bangued – 1,003 hectares, 872 farmer beneficiaries; Tayum – 481 hectares, 627 farmer beneficiaries, and Pidigan – 526 hectares, 586 farmer beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, the agency also is set to turn-over 31 Community Irrigation Systems (CIS) in May this year following the implementation of the Mandanas – Garcia ruling.
Bisquerra said the said law devolves some basic services and facilities of national government agencies and government-owned and controlled corporations to local government units.
He said the turn-over of CIS projects is part of the NIA’s transition period for the first to fourth class municipalities such as Bangued, Tineg and Tubo.
“NIA’s role after the devolution of its projects would be institutional and extension of technical assistance to LGUs. But they will be managing national river irrigation system (RIS) projects such as the Abra River Irrigation System considered as national RIS pending the establishment of an Irrigation Management Office,” said Bisquerra.