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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.


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.