ARMM to work with new NIA chief to address irrigation gaps
Cotabato City (15 August 2014) – To address irrigation gaps in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, newly-installed National Irrigation Administration head Florencio Padernal, through the initiative of ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, met with his regional counterparts Thursday at the region’s seat.
Just five weeks in service, Padernal said he came to ARMM to reach out to Hataman and work directly with him for irrigation system development in the region.
Hataman and Padernal both agreed that ARMM has a vast irrigation potential that, if properly developed, will answer food security and rice sufficiency in the region.
During the meeting, irrigation heads of regions 9, 10 and 12 presented their status of irrigation development and project proposals before Hataman, Padernal and members of the media.
“I am very satisfied with your presentation,” said Padernal to the NIA provincial heads.
Provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi are lodged in the said irrigation management offices because of the absence of a NIA regional office in ARMM.
Padernal said he will study the feasibility of creating a NIA regional office in ARMM.
For the meantime, a focal person to coordinate with the Irrigation Management Offices of the ARMM component provinces will be designated.
“I will designate a focal person or a coordinator in ARMM to help address the gaps,” he said.
Padernal said that in the roadmap that NIA created, they want to solve all irrigation problems in the country in the next ten years. He added that he will even seek legislation help to achieve this.
“ARMM should also have a roadmap if we want to develop our irrigation systems,” said Hataman.
Padernal then proposed that a memorandum of agreement be signed between NIA and the autonomous regional government to spell out the level of coordination of the two offices in planning, programming and monitoring of irrigation projects in the region. (Bureau of Public Information)