THE National Irrigation Administration (NIA) formally inaugurated on Thursday, July 22, the newly-rehabilitated Porac-Gumain River Irrigation System (PGRIS) and turned over support facilities to the irrigators associations in the province of Pampanga.
NIA Administrator Ricardo Visaya said the rehabilitated Porac-Gumain River Irrigation System under the National Irrigation Sector Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (Nisrip) was funded through a grant from Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) amounting to P171,973,175.95.
Visaya said the project is expected to provide irrigation to 3,249.95 hectares of agricultural land in the municipalities of Lubao, Floridablanca, Guagua and Sta. Rita in Pampanga province, benefitting 4,045 farmers and their families.
He said rehabilitation works of Porac-Gumain RIS involved replacement of the falling shutter and provision of trash rack at intake in Porac Dam, replacement of sluicegate with rubber seal in Solib Dam, 10.045-kilometer concrete canal lining, improvement of 20 check gates, and eight Irrigators’ Association (IA) offices with three support facilities.
Visaya commended the workers behind the implementation of the project, which was carried out by Nisrip headed by Project Manager Silvino Navarro, NIA-Central Luzon headed by Regional Manager Josephine Salazar, and the Pampanga-Bataan Irrigation Management Office (Pambat IMO).
He also assured that the agency remains committed to its mandate of providing reliable and sustainable irrigation services to farmers through the construction of irrigation projects and rehabilitation of existing irrigation systems.
Meanwhile, Jica Chief representative Azukizawa Eigo said the project is expected help the agricultural sector in Pampanga especially farmers and their families.
“This project will increase the production and productivity of the agricultural products. And there is a great opportunity to create jobs and attract new investments to the Philippines,” he said.
Engr. Josephine B. Salazar, regional manager of NIA-Central Luzon, said the inauguration of the newly rehabilitated irrigation system in Pampanga is a result of a well-established relationship of the two countries.
“This also highlights the potential of Pampanga to be an active agent in pursuing agricultural activity in the country. The current development of the irrigation proves that the Philippine government sees the great potential of the agriculture sector. As a driving force towards the inclusive economic growth and ultimate goal to assist and to support the agricultural heroes – the Filipino farmers,” Salazar said.
She added that the Philippine government through NIA will continue to provide excellent and quality service to the Filipino farmers by providing efficient and effective irrigation system not only in Pampanga but in the whole country.
The Porac-Gumain RIS inauguration was attended by the NIA Top Management Officials, representatives of Jica headed by Chief Representative Azukizawa Eigo, the Pampanga provincial and local government officials, and the project beneficiaries as represented by its Irrigators’ Association officials.
A video message of Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles and Japan Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko was also featured during the inauguration program held at GalaCy events center in Floridablanca. (Chris Navarro)