Philippines: Government Pipes Money into Flood Control, Irrigation Projects
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced on Tuesday that P8.1 billion in funds have already been made available for flood-control and irrigation projects earlier approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board.
The funds will be charged against overall savings generated by the national government from FYs 2011 and 2012.
Of the total amount, P5 billion has been allocated for 15 flood-control projects under the Department of Public Works and Highway’s (DPWH) Flood Management Master Plan for Metro Manila and surrounding areas, which aims to control severe flooding in the country’s busiest metropolis and other cities near it.
“The DPWH has been tasked to lay down the proper infrastructure to mitigate flooding in Metro Manila and other affected areas around the city. With the necessary funds already at their disposal, the agency can take advantage of the good weather ahead and fast-track the implementation of these projects, long before the rainy season sets in,” DBM Secretary Florencio B. Abad said in a statement
The DBM has also released P1.8 billion to the Metropolitan Waterwage and Sewerage System (MWSS) for the strengthening of the Angat dam and dike project, which will ensure the safety of the Angat Dam from the impact of disasters and calamities.
Under the project, the MWSS will implement rehabilitation activities on the main dam and dike through proper contingency measures, as well as through the formulation of a long-term strengthening and stabilization scheme for the structures.
Abad also said that three other NEDA-Board-approved irrigation projects under the Department of Agriculture-National Irrigation Administration (DA-NIA) will receive a total of P1.3 billion in funds. Of this amount, P390.1 million has been released for the Umayam River Irrigation Project, which is an overflow diversion dam across the Umayam River in Agusan del Sur.
The funds will be used to construct 72 kilometers of irrigation canals in the area, as well as on-farm facilities, drainage canals, and project office facilities. The project is expected to provide year-round irrigation to 6,729 hectares of non-irrigated agricultural lands and benefit 2,125 farming households.
Meanwhile, another P391.35 million from the total DA-NIA allocation will be used for the implementation of the second phase of the Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project in North Cotabato, which will divert the irrigation water supply from Maridagao River to the main canal and lateral canals serving the Lower Malitubog and Pagalungan areas. At least 3,504 farming households are expected to benefit from the project.
Finally, P483.6 million of the DA-NIA release will be used for the second phase of the Casecnan Multipurpose Irrigation and Power Project Irrigation Component in Nueva Ecija, which will involve the enlargement and upgrading of existing irrigation facilities in the area. The project is estimated to benefit a total of 36,900 farmers in the province.
“The Aquino administration is set on making the most of our agricultural industry and establishing complete food self-sufficiency for the country this year. The continued implementation of these irrigation projects will be critical not just in sustaining the productivity of the country’s agricultural lands, but also in stimulating economic growth among our local farming communities,” Abad said.
Source: PIA, January 10, 2013; Image: cdodev