No fund for ARIIP in 2014 budget

August 17, 2013 at 7:24 pm Leave a comment

By Brando Cortez

ROSALES-There is no funds in the proposed P2.3 trillion 2014 national budget for the operation of the National Irrigation Administration Agno River Integrated Irrigation Project (NIA-ARIIP), Project Manager Reynaldo Mencias said.

Mencias said the NIA proposal submitted to NEDA involved additional works that will increase the service area for irrigation from 34,450 hectares to 39,744 hectares.

He said the funds may be sourced through the P429 Million Loan Proceeds Savings from the construction of the re-regulating pond to fund the proposed additional works that can be completed by December 31, 2015.

Region 1 Confederation of Farmers-Irrigatiors Asociations President Oftociano Manalo said their group was surprised that no budget was allotted to NIA-ARIIP.

The NIA-ARIIP is the irrigation component of the San Roque Dam Multipurpose Project with an implementation duration of February 1, 2010 to December 31, 2013.

Manalo said they hope that Malacañang will reconsider its position.

He said the farmers welcome the completion of the re-regulating pond so that the farms will not be too dependent on the releases of the San Roque Dam.

As a member of the Bids and Awards Committee, he found no irregularities in the bidding for projects under the management of Mencias.

“Wala akong nakitang corruption sa ARIIP,” Manalo said. “May mga delayed payments dahil delayed din ang releases from the national government.”

Manalo said the national government should consider that a delay in the construction of irrigation canals will not maximize the purpose of the newly finished re-regulating pond.

“Sayang naman ang purpose ng re-regulating pond kung hindi magagamit ng 100 percent.” Manalo said. “Hindi pa mabuksan ang left bank kasi may mga additional works na dapat gawin.”

Engr. Ceferino Sta. Ana said the number of awards given to NIA-ARIIP in terms of efficient management practices speaks for the tuwid na daan leadership of President Benigno Aquino.

Entry filed under: News.

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