NEDA approves 3 irrigation projects in Iloilo, Agusan del Sur, and Nueva Ecija


The NEDA Board, chaired by President Benigno S. Aquino III, approved on Thursday three irrigation projects worth approximately PhP19.83 billion, all proposed by the Department of Agriculture-National Irrigation Administration (DA-NIA). These projects are expected to provide more jobs as well as strengthen infrastructure support in the agriculture sector in the regions.
The P11.21-billion Jalaur River Multipurpose Project Phase II involves the construction of irrigation facilities such as dams, line canals, and reservoir. About P8.95 billion of the project cost is proposed to be financed through official development assistance (ODA) loan from the Korea Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) while counterpart funding from government amounts to P2.26 billion.
“It is expected to sustain Region 6’s rice self-sufficiency, provide livelihood and tourism opportunities and attract private sector investments particularly in hydroelectric power and bulk water supply,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano W. Paderanga Jr. said.
The project is also expected to provide water supply to 22,340 hectares of croplands, increase yields of palay and other crops in the area and strengthen the region’s Irrigators Associations (IAs) and enhance community-organizing activities for IAs in 9,500-hectare new irrigable areas that will be created upon completion of the project.
The NEDA Board also approved the P1.56 billion Umayam River Irrigation Project. The project is proposed to be financed through ODA loan amounting to P1.35 billion from the People’s Republic of China (PROC) and Philippine government counterpart fund amounting to P207.35 million.
“This project is expected to create employment opportunities in Loreto, Agusan del Sur as agricultural production and cropping intensity increase. This will also provide higher income to 3,385 families in the new irrigable area that will be created upon completion of the project,” Paderanga said.
The third NEDA Board-approved irrigation project is the P7.05-billion Irrigation Component Phase II of the Casecnan Multipurpose Irrigation and Power Project (CMIPP). The project is proposed to be financed through ODA loan amounting to P5.29 billion also from the PROC and P1.76-billion counterpart fund from the Government of the Philippines.
Paderanga said this project will improve the income of 36,900 farmer families in the service areas in Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Tarlac.
The NEDA Board is the governing body that sets major development policy directions for the Philippines while the NEDA Secretariat serves as its research and technical support arm. President Benigno S. Aquino III is chair of the Board while Paderanga serves as Vice Chair. The NEDA Board members are: the Secretaries of Agriculture, Budget and Management, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, Finance, Public Works and Highways, Science and Technology, Tourism, Trade and Industry, Transportation and Communications, and Presidential Management Staff; the Deputy Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; the Chairpersons of  Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, Metro Manila Development Authority, and Mindanao Development Authority; the Governor of the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); and the President of Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP).