DA-10 RTD Madriaga tackles the optimization of water resources allocation in agriculture during the 2023 NorMin Integrated Water Security Summit, held in Opol, Misamis Oriental.


OPOL, MISAMIS ORIENTAL – In a bid towards pitching in the region’s water future, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 helmed by Director Carlene C. Collado, underscored the optimization of water resources allocation in agriculture on Thursday, May 25 during the 2023 Northern Mindanao Integrated Water Security Summit here.

Being the agri department’s delegate to the confab, DA-10 Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga tackled on the agency’s contribution in providing access to water as one of the sectoral goals indicated in the Philippine Development Plan for the 2023-2028 period.

For rice, the country’s staple food crop, the director reported that irrigation development in Region 10 is pegged at 67.3% where 83,557 hectares are already irrigated out from the total of 124,200 hectares of irrigable areas.

“The remaining 32.7% or 40,643 hectares will be proposed for irrigation development under the National Irrigation Administration and Small-Scale Irrigation Projects (SSIPs) of DA-10,” the agri official remarked.

In the past five years, DA-10 has completed 34 SSIPs amounting to P215,743,530.00 and serving 653 hectares. Funded by DA’s banner programs, namely: Rice, Corn and High Value Crops Development, these projects range from Small Water Impounding Project, Small Farm Reservoir, Spring Development, Ram Pump and Solar Powered Irrigation System, RTD Madriaga detailed.

In addition to DA-10’s strides on its irrigation projects, she bared that the department has also allocated P48.239-million for the construction of 12 SSIPs across the provinces of Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Norte for the 2022-2023 period. Eyed to serve a total of 274 hectares, majority (seven) are still for procurement, four are ongoing, while one has already been fully established.

With DA vigorously pushing for farm clustering in the availment of big-ticket projects such as irrigation projects, the DA official encouraged registered farmers’ organizations with at least 15 members, to submit their Letter of Intent (LOI) endorsed by their respective local chief executives.

“Upon receipt of the LOI, DA-10 through our Regional Agricultural Engineering Division (RAED) will validate the site in terms of criteria set by [a particular] irrigation project that you are applying for, and later on, compliance of documentary requirements will follow,” the assistant director stressed.

RTD Madriaga further conveyed that covered in the implementation of SSIPs are those production areas for development or improvement depending on the type, and she maintained that as a mandatory requirement, Right of Way (ROW) should be settled for any proposed project sites, while encouraging LGU-owned lots as the seat for SSIPs.

Said summit was organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which mustered more than 500 participants, comprising of legislators, local officials, the academe, national government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other water stakeholders on its first day, who overall helped in identifying development dimensions, policies, programs and projects, and other institutional mechanisms to curb and address water security challenges in NorMin. # (JLO)