Home Headlines NIA chief calls on irrigators’ groups to help in post-Karding cleanup

NIA chief calls on irrigators’ groups to help in post-Karding cleanup

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NIA administrator Benny Antiporda and UPRIIS department manager Engr. Rosalinda Bote lead officials in breaking ground for the new 2-storey administration building in Cabanatuan City. Contributed photo

SAN LEONARDO, Nueva Ecija – National Irrigation Administration chief Benny D. Antiporda called on Wednesday over 700 leaders of various irrigators’ associations (IAs) to help in cleaning up facilities that were blocked by debris, soil or pieces of woods due to floods brought by super Typhoon Karding.

While damage in infrastructures were minimal, Antiporda said, Karding left their ranks a lot of cleaning up to do.

“Our direction is the food security call of the President and yet, with this typhoon Karding lumala ‘yung problema. So, we’re trying to catch up,” he said.

“I’m looking forward na pakinggan naman ng ating mga kababayan ng ating mga magsasaka ‘yung panawagan natin na bayanihan kasi pinakita naman natin ‘yung ating mga kanal na puwede namang hindi na gamitan ng heavy equipment,” he added. “Nakita ko naman po na mainit naman po ang naging sagot ng ating mga magsasaka.”

Last week, Antiporda submitted a request to Department of Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban for the creation of a committee that will look into the possibility of three-cropping season in certain areas.

This is in line with the goal of sustaining what Nueva Ecija actually produces and come with an excess for Marcos’ food security agenda. They have also programmed works for affected irrigation facilities.

Engr. Rosalinda B. Bote, department manager of NIA-Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System, said the farmers congress that also serves as a stakeholders’ forum reinvigorates cooperation between the agency and farmers belonging to IAs.

“Sa patuloy na pagtutulungan ng NIA at IA, at katuwang ang ating mga LGU at iba pang mga ahensiya ng gobyerno, mapagtatagumpayan po natin ang matagal nang minimithing rice self-sufficiency ng ating bansa,” she said.

Bote reported that per DA-Region III, Nueva Ecija produces 70% of the region’s total rice requirement.

“Our agency desires to provide sustainable irrigation service to our farmer beneficiaries. Para din po tuluy-tuloy na matugunan ang pangangailangan sa patubig sa Nueva Ecija at mga karatig-lalawigan,” Bote said.

Last dry cropping season of 2022, she noted, UPRIIS-serviced areas produced 1,059,052.25 metric tons of palay, a dramatic increase of 68,000 metric tons from 991,201.08 metric tons in the same period of 2021.

Also present during the event were NIA head executive assistant Ren Cordero, Nueva Ecija Vice Gov. Anthony Umali, Dr. Edgardo L. Lapuz, Jr., chief of agri-business and marketing assistance service division of DA-Region 3, Wilma Zapatero who represented the office of the provincial agriculturist, UPRIIS Confederation of Farmers Irrigators’ Associations president Dante Lazatin, among others. 

In Cabanatuan City, Antiporda led the groundbreaking of a two-storey administration building of NIA-UPRIIS.

The P53.8-million building to be constructed in a 1,500 sqm lot inside the NIA-UPRIIS Compound will house the department manager’s office, two division managers’ offices, two conference rooms, and offices that will cater to 152 employees.

Bote said the new building that is expected to be completed by June 17, 2023 will further enhance the agency’s services to agriculture sector.

“Ngayon pa lang ay nagpapasalamat na po kami kay Sir Benny sa pag-apruba ng proyektong ito para sa may 152 empleyado ng head office upang mas lalo pa naming mapagbuti ang pagseserbisyo sa ating IAs, ” she said.

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