More than 1K North Cotabato farmers to benefit with the partial turnover of irrigation project.

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Emil K. Sadain, Chief Implementer of the Build Build Build Program, graced the partial turnover of irrigation facilities of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) at the Lower Malitubog Service Area (LMSA) that will benefit more than 1,000 farmers in the Municipality of Pikit, North Cotabato.

According to Undersecretary Sadain, the irrigation facilities for LMSA under Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project Stage II (MMIP II) which was partially turned over to NIA Region XII has a total generated area of 1,642 hectares and is among the projects under “Build, Build, Build” Program that supports agriculture and food security.

The ceremonial turnover of irrigation facilities on June 23, 2022 was spearheaded by Undersecretary Sadain and NIA Deputy Administrator for Engineering and Operations C’zar M. Sulaik along with NIA Region XII Regional Manager Diosdado A. Rosales; MMIP-II Acting Project Manager Reynaldo M. Sarigumba; Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Member of Parliament Ali O. Salik representing Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim; Political Affairs Assistant Nicanor T. Nanlabi from the office of North Cotabato 1st District Representative Joselito Sacdalan; Ray Domingo of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Nasser Gayagay from the office of Pikit Mayor Sumulong K. Sultan, Commission on Audit (COA) Auditor Romeo A. Casupang; and other NIA officials.

The ₱5.4-billion Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project which is 85% completed is included in the 119 infrastructure flagship projects of the national government that will provide a significant contribution in the food self-sufficiency program, added Undersecretary Sadain.

The newly turned-over facilities will cover the following irrigation areas (IA) in Pikit, North Cotabato: Gli-Gli Lat H & LatH2 IA Inc. with 110 farmer beneficiaries (FB); Bulao Bulo IA Inc. with 159 FB; Tigpo IA Inc. with 150 FB; Makauyag Lat H IA Inc. with 201 FB; Maglib IA Inc. with 250 FB; and Sitio Galigayan IA Inc. with 229 FB.

Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project Stage II will divert irrigation water from Maridagao River utilizing the facilities of MMIP I with the goal of providing efficient, reliable, and sustainable irrigation service to 9,528 hectares of agricultural land of Aleosan and Pikit in Cotabato and Pagalungan and Datu Montawal in Maguindanao.

In his message, Undersecretary Sadain said that the partial turnover of this project will help reduce poverty through sustainable agricultural development and contribute to attainment of peace and order.

He also reminded all the project stakeholders to take good care of the irrigation facility as it comes from the taxes of the Filipino people.

The project major components are 59.09 kilometers main canal, 81.91 kilometers lateral earth canal, 823 units of appurtenant structures, and 361 units on farm level structures.

Undersecretary Sadain, in-charge of DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations implementing big-ticket projects, was directed on November 3, 2021 By President Rodrigo Duterte thru a Memorandum by Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea to supervise and oversee the overall implementation of various flagship projects as Chief Implementer of Build, Build, Build Program.

Since then, the BBB Chief Implementer closely consulted the concerned implementing agencies to reduce the lag time from conceptualization to implementation and shorten start-up periods by compressing the timeline in the review and approval process so as to accelerate priority projects from pre-planning stage of feasibility studies to detailed engineering design (DED), procurement, civil works construction, and completion.

With irrigation the backbone of agriculture, Undersecretary Sadain is closely monitoring the other five (5) infrastructure flagship projects of NIA to continuously strengthened support towards efficient construction of irrigation projects that will bring efficient, reliable, and sustainable service for greater Filipino farmers.

The other five (5) flagship irrigation projects that will cover more agricultural areas nationwide includes the ₱4.372-billion Chico River Pump Irrigation Project (CRPIP) in Kalinga at 87% and schedule for partial turnover to beneficiaries on June 25; ₱3.134-billion National Irrigation Sector Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (NISRIP) with 11 irrigation projects nationwide at 88%; ₱3.5-billion Lower Agno River Irrigation System Improvement Project (LARISIP) in Pangasinan at 79%; ₱11.21-billion Jalaur River Multipurpose Project – Stage II (JRMP-II) in Iloilo at 50%; and ₱13.37-billion Balog-Balog Multipurpose Project – Phase II (BBMP-II) in Tarlac at 47%.

NIA was recently transferred as an attached agency to Department of Agriculture from being under the Office of the President (OP) for almost eight years thru a signed Executive Order No. 168 on April 25, 2022 by President Duterte.

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