By Ed G. Yu & Analene J. Escolano - Article
Mandated to provide timely and efficient irrigation service to farmers, the NIA in the Bicol region covers the six provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, and the island provinces of Catanduanes and Masbate.
With a potential irrigable area area of 239,660 hectares, some 138,128 hectares of rice lands have already been provided with irrigation service by 10 national irrigation systems (NISs) and 433 communal irrigation systems (CISs), pump irrigation systems (PISs) including those privately-owned, and constructed by other government agencies. A total of 74,689 farmers are being served by these NIA operated and assisted irrigation systems in the region. As of December 2015, the level of irrigation development in Bicol stands at 57.64%.
Operation & Maintenance Activities
NIA manages and operates NISs in partnership with irrigators’ associations (IAs). NISs are irrigation systems with a service area of more than 1,000 hectares. NIA collects Irrigation Service Fee (ISF) from beneficiaries of these systems at the rate of 5 cavans/ha/year, 3 cavans during dry season, and 2 cavans during wet season.
The agency also assists IAs in the operation of CISs, which are systems with less than 1,000 hectares. Farmers pay amortization to NIA for the construction cost of their CIS at the rate of 1.5 cavans/ha/year.
ISF, CIS amortization, equity contributions, equipment rentals, and other income are the main sources of income of NIA. It operates in a corporate set up but it serves the public good particularly in terms of providing irrigation service to the nation’s small farmers.
For CY 2015, NIA5 collected a total income of P58, 941,112.60. Majority or 57% was derived from irrigation service fee collection, while the rest was from other incomes.
For the operation of NIA5, the total expenses incurred were P64, 662,837.11 less expenses deductible for Viability Purpose of P9, 587,244.18 for a total net expense of P55, 075,952.93. For CY 2015, NIA region 5 earned a surplus of P3, 865,519.67, achieving an overall viability for the four Irrigation Management Offices and the Regional Office.
NIA implemented a total of 158 projects in 2015, with an approved allocation of P490.2 million. Out of these, 78 projects were completed which irrigated 197 hectares of new area, restored 1,082 hectares, and rehabilitated irrigation structures and facilities in 1,576 hectares benefitting 2,322 farmers.
Aside from the 78 completed projects, 78 projects are still on-going construction, while works in two projects have not yet started due to right-of-way and peace and order problems.
NIA Bicol’s physical accomplishment is 74.24% as of December 2015.