As part of the commitment of the Irrigators Associations (IAs) to the Irrigation Management Transfer (IMT) contract with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), IAs continue the management of irrigation systems despite the COVID-19 pandemic. These activities involve operation and maintenance (O&M) activities of existing national and communal irrigation systems in the region.
According to Section 6 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Republic Act (RA) 10969 or the Free Irrigation Service Act (FISA), NIA shall continue to develop, operate and maintain national irrigation systems (NIS) however, it may delegate the O & M of secondary and tertiary canals and farm ditches to capable IAs. A modified contracting agreement with only 1 type of IMT contract will be adopted indicating the specific irrigation facilities and structures to be transferred, area coverage and O&M responsibilities of NIA and IA including the compensation or subsidy for the IAs.
For the communal irrigation systems (CIS), these shall be operated and maintained by IAs. Similar with the NIS, IAs shall also receive subsidies for the O &M of irrigation systems with P150 per hectare per season based on the validated list of irrigated and planted area. There will also be maintenance subsidy of P2,800 per canal section per maintenance period (every 45 days, maximum six times in one year). One canal section is equivalent to 3.5 kilometers for earth canals and 7 kilometers for concrete lined canals.
As of August 31, 2020, NIA MIMAROPA has 219 IAs under the communal irrigation systems (CIS) that signed into the contract out of the over-all target of 262. For the NIS, 100 IAs already signed into contract with NIA which is 100% of the target.
The IAs are significant partners of NIA in achieving its vision to contribute to the inclusive growth of the country and improve of farmers’ quality of life.