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Regional Manager Mario H. Sande is the new Regional Manager of NIA R-9

Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur - The National Irrigation Administration Region 9 (NIA R-9) has a new Regional Manager, Engr. Mario H. Sande, who officially assumed his office, after a simple turnover ceremony last August 14, 2017 held at NIA Regional Office Function Hall, this municipality.

Regional Manager Diosdado A. Rosales, who served the Zamboanga Peninsula Region for four (4) years and has been twice a recipient of Regional Manager of the Year award (in 2015 and 2017) during his stint, turned over the leadership to Regional Manager Sande following his new assignment in NIA Region 12. This is part of NIA's "Regional Leadership Map", which aims to continuously enhance leadership skills and knowledge as well as to provide regional offices the opportunity to develop with each leadership.

Manager Sande have previously served the now dissolved NIA Negros Island Region as Regional Manager prior to this new assignment. He also briefly served NIA Region 2 for eight (8) months and NIA Region 7 two (2) years both as Regional Manager since his rising from the ranks in his home region in Region 12.

"I humbly accept this symbolic key of responsibility and sincerely promise that I will govern this region guided by the core values of commitment, integrity and professionalism," he said.

In his message during the ceremony, he emphasized the four (4) thrusts he has for the region starting with (1) effective and efficient implementation and timely completion of projects, (2) sustain effective operation and maintenance activities of existing irrigation systems, (3) increase support for institutional activities for the Irrigator's Association, and lastly (4) the judicious use of resources - financial, manpower, and equipment.

Further, he thanked the previous management of Manager Rosales for his activities and initiatives, and for putting the region at a higher level, being the Regional Office of the Year awardee for this year.

Manager sande, who is presently the President of NIA Association of Regional Directors and Operations Managers (ARDOMA), also targets NIA Region 9 to maintain, if not add more, to the accolades the region has already achieved.

NIA-9 bags NIA Anniversary Major Awards

NIA Central Office, Quezon City – In the celebration of the agency’s 54th Founding Anniversary, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) recognized its top performers and best leaders in the irrigation program of the government for CY 2016. The awarding ceremony was held at NIA Central Office grounds in Quezon City last June 22, 2017 bearing the theme, “Libreng Patubig Handog sa Magsasaka.”

NIA Region IX has consistently made it among the regions who produce top performing IAs in the country. In this year’s awarding ceremony, the LOWTIPTAM IA located in Tambulig, Zamboanga del Sur was awarded as the Most Outstanding IA 1st Runner Up under the National Irrigation System (NIS) Category. LOWTIPTAM IA President Crispo L. Jakosalem together with its IA Secretary Sandra L. Utlang and IA Treasurer Trinidad Y. Vale received a plaque of recognition and a cash prize of P30,000.00 from NIA Administrator Gen. Ricardo R. Visaya (Ret.) during the said ceremony.

Yet behind this accolade is the groundwork of a leader whose performance was also being lauded during the same awarding ceremony. Competing against 16 Regional Managers nationwide, Regional Manager Diosdado A. Rosales bagged The Regional Manager of the Year Award for CY 2016. Together with his wife, Hermie Rosales, he received his plaque of recognition and a cash prize of P50,000.00. He is later joined by Engineering and Operations Division Manager Joel C. Atay and Administrative and Finance Division Manager Albine Dave V. Jubilado when the region was called again for another feat. Mirroring his excellent leadership, his office was adjudged as The Regional Irrigation Office of the Year CY 2016 also receiving a plaque and a cash prize of P50,000.00 which was awarded by NIA top officials with Administrator General Ricardo R. Visaya (Ret.) handing over the awards himself.

It is the first time that NIA Regional Office IX received such recognition since its transfer in 2014, from a 600 sq. m rented office in Pagadian City to a 8,000 sq. m. NIA owned lot in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur. The search for Regional Office of the Year award based its criteria for judging in the ISO-9001 which the agency is trying to get certified at.

However, for Regional Manager Rosales, it is not his first time to receive the Regional Manager of the Year award since his assignment in the region in September 2013. Following that year, he received his first Regional Manager of the Year award CY 2014, a newly approved Regional Manager at that. Attesting this feat, its IA has remained a top partner-implementer continuously receiving a many recognition both within and outside NIA as indicated in this year’s awarding.


NIA-9 4th Annual IA Congress dispels ISF Concerns

Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – In an apt forum to discuss President Duterte’s ‘Free ISF’ promulgation, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Region IX recently concluded its 4th Annual IA Congress last September 9, 2016 at NIA Regional Irrigation Office Function Hall, Tawagan Norte, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur.

Attended by 309 Irrigators’ Association (IA) officials grouped in five batches from 170 IAs across the Zamboanga Peninsula, NIA-9 Regional Irrigation Manager (RIM) Diosdado A. Rosales comprehensively talked about the possible impact from both the IA’s and NIA’s end to dissolve several concerns expressed relative to the said pronouncement.

“NIA supports the President’s policy statement and direction of No ISF or Free ISF, and will continue to perform its functions, less the ISF collection. Farmers will enjoy a considerable savings of P4,250.00 per hectare per year for the National Irrigation Systems (NISs) and P1,275.00 for the Communal Irrigation Systems (CISs) ,” he said as an introduction.

He cited that with no ISF IA’s existing cropping calendar and water distribution plans may no longer be followed by farmers which may results to several complications, a mindset of free irrigation water may result to the destruction of irrigation facilities to divert water to their farms, farmers may no longer be compelled to attend meetings, a decrease in total rice production areas, and idle lands might be converted to uses other than agriculture were among the possible scenarios he talked about.

“However, IA being an organization with a legal personality, can continue to collect from its members for its continuous operation. It can be called Association fee or the like but definitely not ISF since NIA will no longer require IA to pay,” he explained.

He further pointed out that the water fee collection hold several IA policies, rules, and regulation together, sustain various existing plans and programs, effect minor repairs and improvements, and overall fund the IA for its continuous efficient operation.

Majority of IAs were concerned, recalling the problems experienced in 1998 when ISF was abolished by deposed President Joseph E. Estrada which however was later revised into socialized ISF.

“Sa ako nindut man, pero dili lang siguro wala-on ang ISF bisag i-maintain lang ang P10.00 per kilo na bayad, i-ubos lang kung gusto sila mutabang sa farmer kay lisud kaayo mulihok nga walay pundo,” said Ronald Pepito, Federated President Dipolo River Irrigation System (DIPRIS) and MARLIBAMA IA President in a dialogue with the IAs.

(For me, it is good but I suggest not to abolish ISF but maintain a P10.00 per kilo payment, lower it if they really want to help the farmer because it would be so hard to work if no funds are available.”

“Ako di musugot na wad-on ang bayad sa irigasyon pwede man gani kung adunay dagkong rehabilitation na wad-on ang amortization pero magpabilin ang atong maintenance and other operating expenses kay kung wala-on usab kini magkarambola na tanan,”said Josefino Llego, IA President of PRIMATELL IA.

(I am not in favor that payment for ISF be abolished however the amortization for major rehabilitation may be waived but retain the maintenance and other operating expenses because it would be chaotic if this is abolished, too.)

Irrigation projects under CIS, collects 10% equity and 90% amortization of the direct chargeable cost. However, if IA fulfills a 30% equity counterpart, the ownership of the completed project is fully transferred to the IA with no further amortization. While for IAs under NIS, a 67-33 sharing scheme is employed through the Irrigation Management Transfer (IMT) program where IAs take partial or full responsibility in the construction, operation, and maintenance of their respective irrigation system. This means that under the Model 2 contract of IMT, the IA receives 33% of the ISF collected in every cropping period.

RIM Rosales maintained that as long as the IA strives to be organizationally strong and help each other as a federation, the Free ISF will be a turned opportunity than a threat. He continued however that as long as there are no implementing rules and regulations passed, existing policies regarding the ISF collection will still be followed.

“We will continue to work with NIA in collecting ISF, we thank you for your personnel has helped us improved our IA,” responded IA President Ruben Conos of Bulong CIS during the closing program of the congress.

NIA charges two cavans per hectare during the wet season crop and three cavans per hectare for the dry season crop. To date, NIA-9 has developed a total of 67.52% from its potential area of 76,515 hectares. It has a total of 849.67M worth of irrigation projects allocated to the region for 2016.

‘Free ISF’ is a political promise made during the presidential campaign, President Duterte vowed to implement this on his term. ISF is a major source of NIA’s income generally used to pay its employees’ salaries and allowances. The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will provide around 4B budget to cover for the said loss. According to Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, the said pronouncement is set to take effect by 2017.


NIA-9 Turns Over 5 M Irrigation Project to San Vicente Farmers

Tambulig, Zamboanga del Sur – The National Irrigation Administration – IX (NIA) turned over the 5 M worth of irrigation project of San Vicente Communal Irrigation System to Kauswagan San Vicente Farmers Irrigators’ Association, Inc. (KASAVIFIA) last August 25, 2016 at KASAVIFIA Office, San Vicente, Tambulig, Zamboanga del Sur.

The completed project is said to cover a total service area of 213 hectares and is projected to benefit 164 farmers of barangays San Vicente and Kauswagan. This 5 M irrigation project includes 830 meters canalization, an irrigation service road, and 400 meters protection dike of Kauswagan Creek, its water source.

Engr. Joel C. Atay, the Zamboanga del Sur Irrigation Management Office Head spearheaded the ribbon cutting and project turnover ceremony where it was attended by LGU dignitaries, namely, San Vicente Brgy. Captain Gomersendo D. Perez, Tambulig Municipal Vice-Mayor Caridad B. Balaod, Tambulig Municipal Mayor Protocio L. Aleman, Poblacion Aurora Mayor Jojo Palma, and the Vice-Governor of Zamboanga del Sur Ace William E. Cerilles.

In the acceptance speech given by its IA President, Baudelio D. Perez, Sr., he credited the accomplishment of another project granted to the association to their concerted effort and unity in continually seeking to improve every member’s quality of life.

“Diha sa panaghiusa, anaa ang kakusog, ug kalampusan sa atong mga pangandoy para sa asosasyon,” he said. (It is in unity that we find strength, and the realization of our dreams for the association.)

KASAVIFIA is one of the performing IAs in the region. The IA, under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program – Irrigation Component (CARP-IC) Category, bagged the Most Outstanding IA in 2011-2013 in 3rd, 2nd, 3rd runner ups, respectively, receiving various amount of cash prizes from NIA Central Office. The IA is encouraged to compete once again for this year’s Search for Most Outstanding IA under CARP-IC category. #