Irrigators’ Associations (IA) all over the region have recently and are currently conducting canal clearing and maintenance activities along their irrigation systems.
These activities form part of the commitment of IAs to the Irrigation Management Transfer (IMT) contract, which they have signed into with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).
As provided for in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Republic Act (RA) 10969 or the Free Irrigation Service Act (FISA), this IMT program of the NIA stipulates that completed and operational irrigation projects are turned over to the IAs for management, operation and maintenance. National Irrigation Systems (NIS) which refer to systems with over 1,000 hectares service area, are turned over to IAs for partial operation and maintenance (O&M) while communal irrigation systems, systems with less than 1,000 ha, are turned over to IAs for full management and O&M.
The IAs, under the IMT contract, are responsible in the repair works on the structures, conveyance, distribution facilities and terminal facilities that can be done manually. Also, the IAs are obliged to monitor activities related to O&M and to formulate policies and procedures based on fair sharing of burdens and efforts of farmer members.
The IAs are provided with an operations subsidy of P150 per hectare per season based on the validated list of irrigated and planted area and a maintenance subsidy of P1,750 per canal section per maintenance period which occurs in every 45 days with a maximum of six in one year. One canal section is equivalent to 3.5 kilometers for earth canals and 7 kilometers for concrete lined canals.
The IMT contract which began in 2017 now has 214 IAs under the communal irrigation systems (CIS) that signed into the contract out of the over-all target of 747 as of September 30. Among the IAs of NISs and Small Irrigation Systems (SIS), 76 out of an over-all target of 98 already signed into contract with the NIA.
According to Paulita P. Yagyagan, head of NIA-CAR Institutional Development Unit (IDU), they are targeting all IAs to be under the IMT contract.
Moreover, Ms. Yagyagan said that through series of orientations and information disseminations, the IAs will be strengthened in order to be part of the operation, maintenance and management of irrigation systems. #Jean Ananayo
Photo Caption 1: Gunglo ti Mannalon Irrigators Association conducts periodic maintenance of Hapid Irrigation System in Lamut, Ifugao as part of their duties and responsibilities under the Revised IMT Contract. #Photo courtesy of Ifugao SO
Photo Caption 2: Members of the Abra River Irrigators’ Association conduct canal clearing along the lateral canals of the Abra River Irrigation System in Abra in preparation of the wet cropping season. #Photo by Jay-ar Bersalona