By: SONNY SALES
NAGA City -- The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Bicol regional office is implementing about P1.050 billion worth of projects for 2016, an increase of 100% from a previous P535 million fund allocation implemented by the agency in 2015.
NIA regional office spokesperson Eduardo Yu said Camarines Sur, considered Bicol’s rice granary, was earmarked the biggest share with P546,031,000; CamNorte( (P193,614,000), Sorsogon (P139,595,000), Albay (P113,050,000), Masbate (P33,000,000) and Catanduanes (P21,595,000).
Yu said the P1.050-billion fund for 2016 is targetted for 144 irrigation projects in Bicol, provide irrigation to 660 hectares of rain-feed areas and restore about 120.5 kilometers of line canals and 50 irrigation structures for some 2,000 hectares of ricelands.
Yu added that NIA is also set to complete the multi-million Ibingan irrigation system in Prieto-Diaz, Sorsogon with a dam component.
He also said that despite the decrease in NIA’s 2015 budget in Bicol, it was noted that since the start of the Aquino administration in 2010, NIA implemented over P6 billion worth of projects from 2011 to 2014.
This year some 17,600 rice farmers in Bicol will benefit from the increased irrigation budget and provide 6,200 jobs in the new 144 NIA infra projects region-wide.