The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has started the construction of a massive irrigation project in Bohol that will cost the government as much as P1.5 billion.

In a statement, NIA Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya led the recent groundbreaking ceremony for the P1.5-billion Bohol Northeast Integrated Irrigation Project (IIP) located in Barangay Tomoc, San Miguel, Bohol.

NIA Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya

Bohol Northeast IIP includes the construction of Cambangay Catch Dam and four diversion dams, namely Isumod; Cambangay and Ipil; Hinlayagan Ilaga; and Kinan-oan Diversion Dam.

Upon completion in 2027, the project will provide timely and reliable irrigation water supply to 2,133 hectares of agricultural land in the municipalities of Danao, San Miguel, Trinidad, and Bien Unido, benefitting 683 farmers and their families.

Moreover, the project is also expected to increase the irrigated areas, cropping intensity from 114 percent to 200 percent, and rice production of the service area.

As the lead government agency mandated to develop all possible sources of water for irrigation, NIA said it remains steadfast in its commitment to providing efficient, reliable, and sustainable irrigation services in the country.

Just recently, the Department of Finance (DOF) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) expressed their full support on the proposal to transfer NIA from the Office of the President (OP) to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

This was five years after the DA, under the leadership of former Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel PiƱol, first made the proposal.

“By making NIA an attached agency of the DA, we believe that both agencies will be better able to fulfill their respective mandates and deliver better outcomes for their shared benefit —the Filipino farmers,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said last month.

For his part, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said that transferring the NIA to DA is consistent with the priority strategy under Chapter 8 of the Updated Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, particularly on strengthening the coordination of government agencies to ensure the complementation of plans, programs, and projects to develop the agriculture sector.

“NEDA agrees with the merits raised by the DA to ensure stronger and better complementation of interventions and activities to develop the agriculture sector,” Chua said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (