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NIA Zamboanga del Norte conducts Stakeholders Forum and Mass Turnover of Irrigation Projects

NIA Region IX – The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) conducts the Stakeholders Forum on Irrigation Development in the Province of Zamboanga del Norte, as well as the Mass Turnover of 24 Completed Irrigation Projects and Modified Irrigation Management Transfer (IMT) Contract Signing, on September 20, 2018 at Missio Dei Hotel, Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte.

The forum aims to discuss the status of irrigation development in the region, as well as the status of the Agency’s on-going and future irrigation projects. On the other hand, the Signing of IMT Contract and the Mass Turnover of 24 Completed Irrigation Projects to respective Irrigators Associations (IAs) target to solicit the cooperation among stakeholders, government agencies, and other sectors of the community in efficient irrigation management towards the inclusive socio-economic growth and agricultural development of the country.

NIA Senior Deputy Administrator Abraham B. Bagasin, staff from Central and Regional Office, IAs, Local Government Units, Congressional Representatives of the provincial districts, some uniformed personnel, and other stakeholders are present in the event.


P16 Million Irrigation Projects turned over in Basilan

Isabela City, Basilan – Five (5) irrigation projects with a total project cost of 16 million was turned over to its respective Irrigators’ Associations (IAs) last August 4, 2018. NIA Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya, and Basilan Governor Jim S. Hataman Salliman, together with NIA Deputy Administrator for Administrative and Finance Romeo G. Gan, NIA Deputy Administrator for Engineering and Operations C’zar M. Sulaik, Regional Manager Mario H. Sande, Lieutenant Colonel Jojo D. Montaner of 104 Brigade Philippine Army, and Basilan-Sulu-Tawitawi (BASULTA) Federation President Nasser Dammang graced the ceremonial mass turnover at Basilan State College Amphitheater, Isabela City.

The irrigation projects turned over to its respective IAs were (1) Calayan Small Irrigation Project (SIP) in Brgy. Garlayan, Lantawan, Basilan, (2) Colonia Communal Irrigation System (CIS) in Brgy. Colonia, Lamitan City, (3) Mahayahay/Batongal CIS in Brgy Batungal, Maluso, Basilan, (4) Semut SIP in Brgy. Semut, Akbar, Basilan, and (5) Tabiawan CIS in Brgy. Tabiawan, Isabela City. A total of 214.50 hectares of service area will be irrigated upon the operation of these irrigation facilities benefitting total of 147 farmer-beneficiaries in the area.

“Kami po sa BASULTA Federation of Irrigators’ Association ay lubos na nagpapasalamat sa National Irrigation Administration . . . Sana patuloy pa po ninyo kaming bigyan ng proyektong irigasyon katuwang ng aming local na gobyerno dito sa BASULTA,” said BASULTA Federation President Dammang.

(We, in BASULTA Federation of Irrigators’ Association, are very much grateful to the National Irrigation Administration . . .  We hope that you continue to give us irrigation projects in partnership with our local government here in BASULTA.)

Dammang’s plea for more irrigation projects is resonated in Regional Manager Sande’s message and situationer report for Basilan province wherein rice demand situation exceeds that of rice supply. According to Regional Manager Sande, the estimated potential irrigable area of the province is at 1,035 hectares and as of December 2017, the area developed is at 38% or 390 hectares. He further explained that the province’s population of 459, 367 (Philippine Statistics Authority, 2015) and an average per capita consumption of 114 kilograms of rice per year, projected a rice supply deficit of 51, 081 metric tons per year.   

“In order to minimize this rice demand-supply gap and improve palay production, we have to increase palay yield per unit area and expand irrigated palay production area through construction of new projects as well as to sustain the operation and maintenance of existing irrigation systems,” he said.

Governor Salliman expressed his gratefulness and support to NIA and calls for an aggressive campaign for food security program to resume rice sustainability of the province. He also encouraged his constituents to parallel the enthusiasm of the government with positive action, appreciation, and participation of its programs.

Administrator Visaya, who has been assigned in Basilan during his military stint, said that Basilan is close to his heart and that full support will be given to farmers to increase their harvest this includes pouring funds to construct new irrigation projects. He further expressed that a convergence effort from NIA, Department of Agriculture and the local government will be initiated to help every farmer in the province.

For CY 2018, NIA Region IX has a total of 9 (nine) irrigation projects for Basilan province with a summative project cost of 170 million. These on-going projects are Banas CIS, Basak CIS, Colonia CIS, Kapatagan SIP, Lamitan CIS, Lower Binembengan SIP, Batongal CIS, Sumagdang CIS, and Tairan SIP.

NIA-9 celebrates Women’s Month

In culmination of National Women’s Month Celebration (NWMC), NIA Region IX conducted a seminar on Republic Act 7877 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 and a pampering session for women at NIA Regional Office Function Hall, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur last March 27, 2018.

Invited resource speaker District Public Attorney Easter Norie F. Talip from the Public Attorney’s Office Pagadian City lectured to both men and women employees the present law on sexual harassment, where and when it is committed, its forms, the functions of the committee on decorum and investigation (CODI), the assistance the agency can provide to an alleged victim of sexual harassment, the charges, classification of offenses, and the possible administrative consequences to the offender.

Atty. Talip particularly clarified the elements by which the law defined sexual harassment, that is, it must be committed within (1) the premises of the workplace or office or of the school or training institution; (2) in any place where the parties were found, as a result of work or education or training responsibilities or relations; (3) at work or education- or training-related social functions; (4) while on official business outside the office or school or training institution or during work or school or training-related travel; (5) at official conferences, fora, symposia or training sessions; or (6) by telephone, cellular phone, fax machine or electronic mail.

Hence, RA 7877 limits the definition of sexual harassment as one that occurs in the settings cited above. Lewd acts beyond the limits provided by RA 7877can be punished under Article 36 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) as acts of lasciviousness. In RA 7877, the offender should have some form of moral ascendancy, influence, or authority over the offended party. Intent need not be proven and good faith is not a defense. While in acts of lasciviousness, the relationship of the offender and the offended party does not matter. Intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person must be proven and good faith is a defense.

Many questions were raised during the open forum before the morning session ended. One of which is, “What are the requirements for a complaint?” for which Atty. Talip explained that it must be in writing, signed and sworn to by the complainant, and must contains the following: full name and address of the complainant, full name, address, and position of the respondent, a brief statement of the relevant facts, residence, in support of the complainant, and a certification of non-forum shopping.

The region’s celebration of this year’s NWMC which is still anchored on the theme, “We Make Change Work for Women,” a theme to be adapted until 2022, aims to bring awareness to both men and women on the rights of women in the workplace, education and training settings. While the women’s pampering session in the afternoon intends to show appreciation to all women in their nation-building efforts.

“The activities today are both mind and body pampering, I learned a lot from this morning session and I am very satisfied, too, with the services provided this afternoon – thank you for this yearly activity," says Engr. Gilliane B. Sapong.

The celebration of the National Women's Month is under the Gender and Development program of the government which tries to address gender inequality and inequity issues among men and  women.

R-9 Farmers are ‘Very Satisfied’

Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – Committed to ensure quality irrigation service to its farmer stakeholders, National Irrigation Administration Region IX with the mandate from its Central Office, sourced out a team of researchers from Jose Rizal Memorial State University (JRMSU) in Dipolog City to survey the Farmer Satisfaction level of the Irrigators’ Associations in the region.

In the first three weeks of the year, the team surveyed a total of 263 IAs randomly selected from National Irrigation System (NIS) and Communal Irrigation System (CIS). An orientation was conducted in JRMSU DIpolog City last January 4, 2018 where all Institutional Development Officers (IDOs) and its heads were made aware of the procedure and how they can help facilitate the conduct once in the area.

In the NIS Survey, the measure will focus on nine (9) services or aspects such as (1) compliance and implementation of the agreed cropping calendar; (2) timeliness of delivery and distribution of water; (3) equitability of irrigation water delivery and distribution; (4) action on requests for the rehabilitation/ construction of irrigations systems/ projects; (5) quality of construction of irrigation facilities and structures; (6) action on requests for technical advisory/support services; (7)  quality of technical advisory/support services; (8) action on request for training and other capacity building; and (9) quality of training and other capacity building programs provided. While the CIS will only cover items 4 to 8 of the above.

Last CY 2015, NIA Region-IX received an 80.05% Satisfaction level from farmers of NIS which describes as Satisfactory. While CY 2016 now including the CIS farmers, yielded a “Very Satisfied” rating both from the NIS at 84% and CIS at 89% farmers. Now with the recently concluded Farmer Satisfaction Survey Exit Conference conducted at NIA- RIO Function Hall, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur, the results revealed an even higher rate for both the NIS and CIS pegged at 97.59% and 98.13%, respectively.

Overall, both NIS and CIS respondents gave “Very Satisfied” mark on six out of nine NIA services with highest rating on “quality of training & capacity building” while scoring least on “quality of construction/rehabilitation” which was rated as “Satisfied.”

“We are not doing this just because of the requirement of GCG, but we are doing it because of our desire to improve our performance. I am interested to pick out the feedback of our farmers so we can focus on improving in those areas,” Regional Manager Mario H. Sande said.

Part of the focus of NIA aside from the design and construction of irrigation infrastructures and facilities is the capacity building of its Irrigators’ Associations whose participation in the management and maintenance of the constructed irrigation systems is tantamount to the overall success of NIA in particular and the rice self-sufficiency program of the government in general.