RAMON, Isabela - Officials of the National Irrigation Administration and hydropower company SN Aboitiz Power-Magat inaugurated the completed MARIS Optimization Project here on June 1, 2016.
NIA Administrator Florencio F. Padernal and SNAP-Magat Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Joseph S. Yu led the ceremony. Joining them were NIA Public Affairs and Information Manager Pilipina P. Bermudez, Magat River Integrated Irrigation System Department Manager Wilfredo C. Gloria, MARIIS-Dam and Reservoir Division Manager Rodolfo E. Mejia. SNAP Technology Officer Kjell S. Valdal, HEDCOR President and Chief Operating Officer Rene Ronquillo, and SNAP-M Operations Manager Wilhelmino R. Ferrer were also present during the event.
Administrator Padernal said the project is Private-Public-Partnership at its best. Mr. Yu said they are committed to support NIA's mission to provide irrigation for agriculture and secure the food supply for the country. "This is our small role in nation-building," he added.
The project, completed on March 22, 2016 will add some eight million cubic meters of storage in the MARIS reservoir for irrigation. The project also included other dam improvements such as provision of two new gantry cranes, security fence, and safety handrails which will improve the dam operational safety and irrigation water delivery of NIA.
MARIS Optimization is a project of NIA, with SNAP-Magat as its project partner. Groundbreaking was on November 4, 2014 and site works began in January 2015.
National Irrigation Administration - President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday led the launching of the Balog-Balog Multipurpose Project Phase II at NIA Campsite, Bgy. Sula, San Jose Tarlac.
NIA Administrator Dr. Florencio F. Padernal together with BBMP Project Manager Engr. Josephine B. Salazar led NIA delegations in welcoming President Aquino.
The BBMP II amounting to P13.37 billion, when fully completed will irrigate a total of 34, 410 hectares and will serve at least 23,000 farmers. It is projected to increase the cropping intensity within the service area from 24% to 200% which will directly improve the crop production and farmers' income.
PNoy in his speech cited the importance of the project bamong Tarlaqueño in coping up with neighboring provinces for a bountiful rice harvests. "Minamarkahan natin ang isa na namang proyekto na magdadala ng benepisyo sa ating mga boss, panibagong patunay ito sa gobyernong tunay na nakatutok sa kanyang mandato ang pagsilbihan at sundin ang taong bayan" Aquino said.
The president also explained why the project took decades to construct. He even apologized to the crowd "Sinuri po natin ng husto ang proyektong ito, sinigurado na tama ang lahat ng proseso" he added.
During the project briefing, NIA Administrator Padernal told everyone that the project started 2015 and set to finish by 2018. He further explains details of construction which involves Balog-Balog earth-fill dam at the Upper Bulsa River and new irrigation canals and structures.
NIA Administrator Florencio F. Padernal explains briefly about the Balog-Balog Multipurpose Project during the project launching on May 26, 2016.
"Kapag po natapos ang proyektong ito ay masisilbihan po natin ang halos sampu (10) na munisipalidad ditto sa probinsya ng Tarlac kasama po diyan ang Paniqui, Pura, Ramos, Victoria, Gerona, San Jose, Lapaz, Capas, Concepcion, at Tarlac City".
Meanwhile, Tarlac Governor Yap thanked the NIA management and PNoy for the political will to finally continue the project. "50 years back and forward nasa panaginip lang po natin ito noon pero isang panaginip ang maisasakatuparan na ngayon" he emphasized.
As a multipurpose dam, the project is also expected to potentially generate 43.5 MW of hydropower. The mega dam has a storage capacity of 560 MCM which can mitigate flooding in low-lying areas and provide inland fish production within the affected families. Thus, providing the upland communities with livelihood opportunity through fishery on at least 150 hectares in the 1, 755 hectare reservoir area.
The project is also seen to be a future tourist destination that can boost local eco-tourism industry in the area.
Also present during the event were LGU officials in Tarlac, farmers, and various irrigators associations. NIA team consists of Deputy Administrators, NIA central office department and division managers, and NIA Region 3 gladly witnessed the momentous feat.
(Rightmost) Mr. Cesar C. Pasco entertains questions from the participants about their expectations with the training workshop on vetiver grass handicraft making held at 5th Flr. IEC Bldg. Convention hall NIA compound on May 2, 2016.
National Irrigation Administration, Quezon City - A 5-day trainers' training workshop on production and handicraft making of Vetiver Grass were attended by representatives from different NIA regional offices. The said training workshop started on May 2, 2016 and will end May 6, 2016 at 5th Flr. IEC Bldg. Convention hall NIA compound.
NIA Deputy Administrator for Engineering and Operations Engr. Erdolfo B. Domingo welcomes all the participants and challenge them in coming up with a training guide that can be helpful to farmers. "This workshop will not only benefit you (participants) but most importantly the farmers and Irrigators Association who will be the recipients of this endeavor" he added. NIA Operations Department Manager Engr. Romeo M. Lopez expresses his gratitude to all the participants who accepted the call to be part of the workshop. He noted that Vetiver Grass has been with NIA years ago, as a slope protection for irrigation structures like canals.
Mr. Renel A. Batralo and Mr. Cesar C. Pasco who are both DTI accredited trainers were the resource speakers during the course of training. The two are both designers and product consultants specializing in handicrafts making thru the use of indigenous materials such as bunot, water lily, buri, nito, tikog, etc. Mr. Pasco told everyone that with proper treatment and process at hand, Vetiver Grass can be a competitive Philippine product locally and internationally.
NIA, as early as 1988, uses Vetiver Grass as a slope protection mechanism because it has the capacity to hold large amount of soil thru its roots which grow deeper up to 5 meters. The use of this grass is included with the Irrigation Operation Support Project (IOSP) of the agency under operations and maintenance (O&M). NIA gives various seedlings of Vetiver Grass to farmers for them to plant it alongside with the irrigation canals to prevent soil erosion.
The problem comes when rats and snakes started to fill the area due to dense and weedy environment which make it suitable for the pests to live. That is why the agency, thru Office of the Irrigation Center, NIA Operations Department, in coordination with DTI Coco Coir National Industry Cluster, came up with this training workshop to resourcefully and efficiently use the Vetiver Grass for an additional income of our farmers.
"Motivate your counterpart, motivate your farmers. I want this training to be a productive one" said Mr. Pasco. The speakers also discuss other uses of the grass like absorbing toxic substance in soil caused by chemical fertilizers, serves as an herb for medical purposes, use as runoff mitigation, and helps in water conservation.
Participants have their chance to closely appreciate the Vetiver Grass during the 1st day of training workshop.
Mr. Batralo told the participants to expect on-hands training as they will teach them preparations and processes on how to come up with a good piece using the Vetiver Grass. "Excited ako kasi aside from unleashing our creativity sa paggawa ng handicrafts, malaki rin ang maitutulong nito sa ating mga farmers (additional income) na ang tingin sa Vetiver grass ay walang pakinabang" as one of the participants from Region IV-B stated.
The use of Vetiver Grass will not only serve its primary purpose of preventing soil erosion but also open a new avenue for our farmers to be able to learn the potentials of this grass.
Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur - NIA Administrator Florencio F. Padernal (center) and NIA Region 9 Manager Diosdado A. Rosales together with IA officials showing their certificates during the ceremonial mass turnover of 29 completed irrigation projects in the region on April 25, 2016.
National Irrigation Administration, Zamboanga del Sur - P191.76 million worth of irrigation projects completed by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) were turned over to 29 Irrigators Associations (IA) from the Zamboanga Peninsula. The completed projects would irrigate about 4,719 hectares and will benefit 2,537 farmers. These projects are composed of 27 communal and two national irrigation systems.
NIA Administrator Florencio F. Padernal expressed his pleasure in gracing such a wonderful event. He stressed the importance of NIA and IAs unity, cooperation, and hard work for the agricultural productivity of our country.
Dr. Padernal together with NIA Region 9 Manager Diosdado A. Rosales highlighted that these irrigation projects will help increase palay production, subsequently improve farmers' income, and ultimately provide food for the whole nation. Engr. Rosales in his end is very elated that the projects were completed and turned over to the Zamboanga Peninsula farmers for it will help and uplift the agriculture sector. They also pointed out that with these projects the farmers can enjoy two cropping a year and encouraged them to plant other crops such as cacao, banana, and corn as an added income.
In return, the farmers are grateful to the Agency for the completed projects, for the assured increased production of the region, and for being their partner in fulfilling their dreams.