City Council to NIA: quantify maintenance counterpart

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News Dispatch/18 Nov 2011)–The National Irrigation Authority (NIA) represented by Eng’r. Oscar Capundag, Jr. and Eng’r. Elpedio Lacernas, Jr.,paid the City Council of Malaybalay a visit during their 39th Regular Session on Nov. 15, 2011 upon the request also of City Councilor Jay Warren R. Pabillaran to discuss the Memorandum Of Agreement between the City of Malaybalay and the NIA regarding the maintenance of the Communal Irrigation Canals that supplies water to the irrigated farms in the City.

According to Eng’r. Capundag, these canals are being developed by NIA in partnership with the Local Government and the Irrigator’s Associations (IA) in a 70-20-10 % scheme.

Capundag added that after the development, the IA has now the responsibility to operate and maintain the said project.

Capundag further added that the LGU usually absorbed the 10% equity of the IA since these associations will still come to them for assistance in maintaining the said canals.

 

City Councilor Roland F. Deticio reiterates that the main concern of the city is to determine the concrete counterpart of the NIA in maintaining the said canals especially the de-siltation.

Deticio said that the council wants to ascertain the said counterpart aside from the Technical Supervision mentioned in the MOA, since the LGU is now absorbing most of the maintenance requirements of these projects while NIA is the one collecting the Irrigation Service Fees (ISF).

Capundag said that NIA is a self-liquidating agency and only rely on its collection in addressing their financial requirement in operation and their administrative cost.

NIA has no allotment in the General Appropriation and their project has to be converted to physical accomplishments, Capundag added.

Presently however, NIA is providing fuel for the Back Hoe assigned by the LGU to this projects, Capundag said.

Eng’r. Elpedio Lacernas, Jr., Chief of the Engineering Division, also said that the Irrig. Service Fee (ISF) collections with an estimate of P 3M per year for Communal Canals and P 40 to 45M per year for National Canals, were all converted to irrigation development projects and programs.

Lacernas stressed that for the year 2011, NIA invested a total amount of P 16.9M while P 74.8M is being allocated in 2012 for Malaybalay City alone.

Councilor Jose Medardo M. Estaniel suggested that to address the concern of the City Gov’t. in handling the desiltation, NIA and the Committee on Agriculture should review the said MOA and formulate a standard maintenance program that will determine the concrete budget counterpart of NIA.

Capundag further suggests that may be they can connect their mandate in maintaining these projects to the said MOA to concretize such financial counterpart.

Lacernas in his parting statement assured the council that NIA will continue to be its partner and is very much transparent in presenting expenditures in all their projects and operations. (Erlow Talatala)

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