TAGBILARAN CITY – Engr. Florencio Padernal, administrator of the National Irrigation Administration assured farmer-irrigators of immediate implementation of the proposed upgrading of the Malinao dam in Pilar, Bohol. The guarantee came as farmer-irrigators have been claiming for the planned raising of the height of the irrigation facility in apparent bid to store more water in the earthfill type reservoir. He said that the upgrading of the dam will be done as soon as the detailed design is finalized. But he did not mention when the said design will be completed.
The National Economic Development Authority (Neda) chaired by P-Noy approved the upgrading project at a cost of PhP653 million “to double the impounding capacity of Malinao Dam in earthquake-stricken Bohol province to sufficiently irrigate unserved and underserved areas.” The fund for Malinao upgrading is part of the total PhP62.3 billion for infrastructure projects “to improve the supply of water” including the national capital region, the report said.
Bohol is host to four major dams. Malinao in Pilar town with service area of 4,700 has.; Bayongan, San Miguel, 5,300 has.; Capayas, Ubay, 1,100 has.; and Talibon town, about 1,000 has. Padernal graced last week the inauguration of NIA’s training center along with Sec. Francis Pangilinan.
Joining the NIA event were NIA acting regional manager Mario Sande, Rep. Erico Aristotle C. Aumentado (2nd dist), Gov. Edgar Chatto, City Mayor John Geesnell Yap II, Reps. Rene Relampagos and Arthur Yap were represented, officials of the National Food Administration (NFA), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), officers and members of the irrigators association of Cebu, Siquijor, Negros Oreintal aside from Bohol.
The NIA boss has enumerated accomplishments under his stewardship. He said it used to be that only about 50% project have been done but it increased to 70% when he assumed office eight months ago. This is aside from 90% physical turnover last year, he added.
Padernal said that one of the ways he employed in changing and improving the lot of the NIA is dialogue. He said he’ll be roaming around in three main islands of the country in next three months to conduct dialogues to find out how the irrigators work with NIA and benefited from the agency’s assistance and support.
He also bared that contracts are terminated and contractor are blacklisted to discipline them for refusal to tap or employ qualified irrigators in their projects.
Under his leadership, NIA’s budget has been increased from Php24 billion last year to PhP28 billion. Now he’s working to make it Php50 billion in 2016, he added. (rvo)