Valencia City approves emergency irrigation contingency plan

VALENCIA CITY (Bukidnon News/16 January 2011) The Valencia City
council approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Leandro Jose Catarata
to allocate P6.08 million for the urgent purchase and the operation of
three water pumps to irrigate at least 700 hectares of rice farms in
villages affected by the December 27 flashfloods.

Floodwaters destroyed the water siphon structure in Brgy. San Isidro
and cut water supply to the irrigation canal in rice producing Brgy.
Nabag-o and neighboring villages.

The Department of Agriculture and the National Irrigation
Administration have warned that the farms will be destroyed if water
will not flow again in the irrigation canal.

The DA reported about 950 hectares of rice farms in Valencia City have
been underwater because of last Tuesday’s flashfloods, the provincial
agriculture office reported.

City Councilor Glenn Peduche, chair of the committee on agriculture at
the Valencia City Council clarified that aside from flooded rice
farms, about 700 hectares of farmlands also were deprived of water
because of the destruction irrigation structures.

The city council sourced about P1.5 million for the purchase of the
three pumps. The rest of the amount proposed by NIA, will be used to
buy fuel, and other expenses including the salary to pay two pump
operators.

But only P1.5 million could be sourced from 2011 calamity funds as the
5 percent mandatory amount for last year will be exhausted for other
calamity response expenses.
About P4.5 million will be sourced out from the 2012 calamity funds,
Peduche told Bukidnon News.

He added that the NIA provincial office has proposed to their national
office for the repair of the irrigation structures.

But Peduche said the city government needed to respond to the needs of
the farmers soon as national funds would take time to download.

Peduche said they projected a year before NIA will be able to repair
the irrigation structures destroyed by floods. As soon as it is
repaired, the city government will take possession of the water pumps
for its own needs.

Estelita Madjos, deputy to the provincial agriculturist noted that
Valencia has at least 10,000 hectares of rice farms as of December
2011.

NIA estimates that damage to the irrigation infrastructure is at P50
million, according to an earlier report by Jimmy Apostol, Bukidnon NIA
irrigation manager.

Apostol said that at least P30-million worth of rice farms served by
the flooded irrigation siphon facility will be totally damaged if
water will not flow back to the irrigation canals again.

Authorities have closed the Pulangi Bridge for big trucks as its
approaches were partially damaged.

Barangay Captain Henry Ladesma showed to Bukidnon News the damage to
the bridge’s riprap protecting the foundation to the approach.

The bridge connects southeastern villages of Malaybalay such as
Bangcud, Aglayan, and Violeta to Valencia’s interior villages and is a
shorter route going to San Fernando town from the northern part of
Bukidnon.

The flashfloods displaced an estimated 1,146 families in the city’s
riverside barangays, according to initial estimates from the City
Social Welfare and Development Office released in January first week
in what was referred to as the biggest flood so far to hit the city in
29 years.(Walter I. Balane /Bukidnon News)

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