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Engr. Rory F. Avance is the new Regional Manager of NIA Region 9

Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Region IX has a new regional manager in the person of Engr. Rory F. Avance who officially assumed office on November 14, 2019 in a turnover ceremony held at NIA Regional Office IX Covered Court, this municipality.

The turnover of regional leadership from Engr. Mario H. Sande to the new regional manager was presided by NIA Administrator Gen. Ricardo R. Visaya (Ret). Other top officials from NIA Central Office also attended the said turnover including Deputy Administrator for Administrative and Finance, MGen Romeo G Gan, head of the Inspection and Assessment Team (IAT), PBGen Asher M. Dolina, Security and Management Consultant for Western Mindanao, Gen. Mayoralgo dela Cruz and visitors from NIA Region 12.

Manager Sande who served the Zamboanga Peninsula region for the past two (2) years is also the current President of NIA Association of Regional Directors and Operations Managers (ARDOMA). He previously served the now dissolved NIA Negros Island Region as Regional Manager prior to his assignment in Region IX. He also briefly served NIA Region 2 for eight (8) months and NIA Region 7 for two (2) years both as Regional Manager since his rising from the ranks in his home region, Region 12. He is set to officially bow out of government service on December 27, 2019 at the age of 65, the compulsory age for retirement. He has served the agency for a total of 41 years.

“My sincerest thanks to NIA top management and all employees of Region IX for the support you have extended during my term, it is expected that the same kind of support will be given to the new regional manager,” the outgoing manager said.

Meanwhile, newly installed manager Engr Avance also hails from Region 12. He rose from the ranks with his humble beginnings in NIA Region 12 as irrigation engineer some 33 years back. He was the Engineering and Operations Division Manager of NIA Region 12 prior to his promotion as regional manager. The 58-year-old manager is a native of Midsayap, Cotabato with Ilonggo and Cebuano descent.

“As a newly installed regional manager gusto kong hikayatin ang lahat ng empleyado na samahan ninyo akong mag-isip para sa ikabubuti ng Region IX in so doing I find no reason why we will fail,” the new manager’s call-to-action delivered during his acceptance speech.

NIA Administrator Visaya in his message also thank the outgoing manager for his dedicated service to the agency and assured his full trust and confidence to the newly installed manager. He concluded his message sharing the 11 military principles on leadership: (1) Know yourself and seek self-improvement; (2) Be technically and tactically proficient; (3) Develop a sense of responsibility among subordinates; (4) Make sound and timely decisions; (5) Set an example; (6) Know your people and look out for their welfare; (7) Keep your people informed; (8) Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions; (9) Ensure assigned tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished; (10) Train your people as a team; and lastly (11) Employ your team in accordance with its capabilities.

Inspectorate and Assistance Team visits the island provinces projects of NIA Region IX

Zamboanga City – National Irrigation Administration Central Office (NIA CO) Inspectorate and Assistance Team (IAT) visited the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi collectively known as BASULTA on November 4-8, 2019 as part of their two-week project inspection in NIA Region IX. During its entry conference on November 4, 2019 at L’ Meridian Hotel, Zamboanga City, Col. Rogelio R Percol who spearheaded the said field inspection emphasized the objective of the group to provide guidance as well as opportunities for improvement should deficiencies in the project implementation are found. The IAT was divided into two (2) groups to cover the entire region which has 100 irrigation projects in CY 2019 alone. Projects to be visited were randomly pre-selected by the group which also included projects from previous years both ongoing and completed.

The region’s Security and Management Consultant, Gen Mayoralgo dela Cruz (Ret) played an important role in coordinating with the military forces to secure the sites to be visited as well as the personnel conducting the project inspection. Courtesy visits to the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ West Mindanao Command headquarters in Zamboanga City and to the 11th Infantry Division Philippine Army in Jolo, Sulu were done accordingly, a convergent and monumental effort in establishing a strong linkage with the military sector especially in areas where project implementation become very difficult due to security threats such as the case of BASULTA.

Optimizing the visit, a stakeholders’ meeting and mass turnover ceremony of irrigation projects was conducted at Beach Side Inn, Bongao, Tawi-tawi on November 7, 2019 following the project inspection in the area. A total of 78 stakeholders in attendance including Irrigators’ Association (IA) officers graced the said event which culminated in the signing of the covenant of support for the irrigation development of the island. The three (3) projects turned over were the Maalum Magsagao Communal Irrigation System (CIS), Guma Small Irrigation Project (SIP), and Sumangat-Sillubog CIS amounting to a total project cost of 40 M with a total service area of 208 hectares and to serve 51 farmer-beneficiaries. IA Presidents Nasser A. Dammang, Malik H. Mulok, and Kamruddin S. Salahuddin received the key of responsibility, respectively.

Regional Manager Mario H Sande, who is set to retire this year also joined the inspectorate team together with other key officials of NIA IX. Due to the unstable peace and security situations of the island provinces particularly in Sulu, Manager Sande was the first Regional Manager in NIA Region IX history who have completed the BASULTA project visit.

The IAT is set to conduct their exit interview on November 14, 2019 at NIA Regional Office in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur with the presence of NIA Administrator Ricardo R Visaya (Ret) and other NIA higher ups. NIA Region IX is the last region to be visited by the group since their inception in 2017.

NIA-R9 conducts Digital Media Use and Social Media Engagement Seminar-Workshop

Zamboanga City - The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Region IX conducted the two-day seminar-workshop on Digital Media Use and Social Media Engagement with Digital Marketing Strategist, Mr. Gilmar E. Padua on October 24-25, 2019 at LM Metro Hotel, Zamboanga City. Participants were composed of NIA Public Relations (PR) officers and designates from respective regions of Mindanao. A total of 38 PR members all over Mindanao participated and completed the 16-hour seminar-workshop.

The said seminar-workshop aims to equip PR members with skills necessary to optimize the use of social media platforms, as well as appreciate social media analytics and come up with social media strategies and policies relevant to the agency. Hands-on learning exercises were provided for the participants to readily apply concepts and principles demonstrated in the lectures. Among others, participants learned how to set up autobots for Facebook page messaging, generate captions using Value Proposition Canvas strategy, and plan ahead using the Social Media calendar.

The conduct of the Digital Media Use and Social Media Engagement Seminar-Workshop is the 1st of its kind conducted for the PR groups in Mindanao. It seeks to strengthen solidarity among Mindanao PR groups as well as heed the to the Four-Point Agenda of NIA Administrator Ricardo R Visaya to develop human resources and improve their capabilities. NIA Region IX PR group organized and hosted the said activity.

NIA R9's IA qualifies for Nationwide Search for Most Outstanding IA

As National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Region IX's two (2) Irrigators' Associations (IAs) got short-listed for NIA's nationwide Search for Most Outstanding IA, auditors from NIA Central Office (NIA CO) are now ready to validate their desk evaluation on the ground. Composed of Institutional Development officers from NIA CO, the auditors will look into the IA's cropping intensity, production, financial management, organizational discipline, and viability index among other indicators. The Tambulig Balogo Farmers Irrigators' Association, Inc. (TABAFIA) as seen here is located in Brgy. Balugo, Tambulig, Zamboanga del Sur vies for the Most Outstanding IA under the National Irrigation System (NIS) category. NIA IX Regional Manager Engr. Mario H. Sande commends the said IA for all their hardwork that led to today's activity.

"We have 72 IAs regionwide and we give the same kind of programs and trainings to all IAs. What differs now is the kind of attitude and values the IA has, and this is where your IA excelled," he said.

TABAFIA, Inc. headed by IA President Tito G. Brit has a service area of 224 hectares and 175 farmer-beneficaries. They also recently qualified to compete for Department of Agriculture's Nationwide Search for IA Rice Achievers Award which has a prize of one (1) million worth of project. Earlier news has it that they bagged the said award, although an official communication for the said announcement is yet to follow.

The winners of this search shall received a Php100, 000.00 cash prize during the 56th NIA Anniversary in NIA Central Office, Quezon City come June 2019.