When two become one: Elvita, Taritien, Malatgao Farmers IA climbs to the top

Inactive and incapable officers leading to poor performance. This was the situation of the two IAs: Bataris sa Patubigan and Katiwala sa Patubigan before they combined to attain a more improved irrigation creating Elvita, Taritien, Malatgao (ETM) Farmers Irrigators Association.

Experiencing failure didn’t stop the IA; it even pushed them to gear up and climb to the top.

Two Become One

Bataris sa Patubigan which means Gulpimano or Bayanihan sa Patubig is the name of the IA located at Brgy. Taritien, Narra, Palawan with SEC Registration CN201019437. Said IA was organized on September 14, 2010 covering the largest service area in Division III of 239.38 hectares with 110 farmer beneficiaries. NIA introduced the Irrigation Management Transfer (IMT) and negotiation but the IA was reluctant due to lack of capability of the officers.

Meanwhile, Katiwala sa Patubigan IA, with SEC Registration CN201018705, is located at Brgy. Elvita, Narra, Palawan with service area of 104.84 hectares and 64 farmer beneficiaries. This IA, having 5 turn-out service area group, was organized on August 25, 2010. After failing to reach the required scores in the functionality survey, the IA decided to merge with Bataris sa Patubigan IA.

The two IAs become one, thus, the creation of ETM Farmers Irrigators Association. The name was coined from the three barangays covering the IA.

A new beginning

Under the management of Division Manager Conrado V. Cardenas, Jr. and Irrigators Development Officers (IDOs), merging the two IAs was materialized which paved the way for a new beginning for the members of ETM FIA.

By 2014, a new set of officers was elected with Mr. Raymond Mandapat as the IA President. It was then registered to SEC with No. CN201420593 on October 21, 2014.

Inspired and dedicated, the IA came up with a new vision and mission which will guide them in managing their association.

ETM FIA administers an irrigation canal project with length of 5.44 kilometers and total service area of 344.22 hectares. This benefits 116 farmers of the three barangays.

Entering Irrigation Management Transfer

Based on the IA IMT Contract Eligibility Criteria (MC 27 s. 2011), ETM Farmers Irrigators Association has the capability in performing responsibilities under Model I Contract like a) preparation of List of Irrigated & Planted Area (LIPA), b) perform minor repair and maintenance activity, c) canal maintenance, d) perform water delivery and distribution, e) Irrigation Service Fee (ISF) bills preparation and distribution, and f) ISF collection campaign. Hence, the IA entered into Model I contract on July 1, 2014 with an irrigated area of 213.90 hectares and 124 farmer beneficiaries.

ETM FIA generates its income from share of canal maintenance which is conducted every 45 days. The first ISF collection resulted to remarkable level of 98.06% collection efficiency (CE) benefitting them to gain their IA share of P48,508.08.

The IA leveled up and entered into Model II contract on January 2, 2015 with Firmed -Up Service Area (FUSA) of 344.22 hectares and 131 farmer beneficiaries. Additional responsibilities of the IA under this contract was to a) maintain a trust fund, b) prepare Operation & Maintenance (O&M) Plan like cropping calendar, pattern of planting and water delivery and distribution, and c) formulate and implement O&M policies.

The IA has irrigated an area of 202.60 hectares and benefitted 154.40 hectares. They continuously performed well with 90.44% collection efficiency on Dry Season and 94.10% CE on Wet Season of 2015.

IA Performance

For the past two years, ETM FIA proved that they can manage the association properly with substantial results. They attained Very Satisfactory rating for CY 2014 and got an Outstanding for CY 2015. The Board of Directors and members acted on their roles properly and actively participates on the activities of the IA.

As a whole, the IA had an average viability index of 1.5 posting higher income generation compared to expense incurred, collection rate of 95.27% and CI of 125.49%.

Income-generating Programs

This excellent performing IA has proven its capability as a viable organization through management. Financially, they even came up with different ways to generate additional income aside from the IA share.

These programs are assistance program given to IA members with delayed payment of ISF, fines and penalties, and catering services for activities in their area conducted by agencies like NIA, DA and PhilRice. They also have Sikat Saka incentive wherein Landbank shall provide cash incentive to the service provider per cropping cycle as recognition/compensation such as 0.5% of the principal amount of loan paid on time by the farmer per batch for a collection rate of at least 90% or 1% IA incentive for every 100% collection rate of the total loan amount paid on time by the farmer per batch is achieved.

The path towards the top is very difficult and challenging but ETM FIA is determined and ready for providing the highest satisfaction of their members./NIA4B/AVGB/AJDJ/PJG/