Issue of December 31, 2017
Mt. Province

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Rehab of UCRIS canal resumes in summer months
by Ofelia C. Empian

ENGAGING PARTNERS -- The National Irrigation Administration-Cordillera led by Acting Manager Benito Espique Jr. (4th from l, 1st row) conducts the first of a series of stakeholders’ forum for the region starting in Benguet on Dec. 27.  The provincial forum aims to engage stakeholders from the agencies, religious sector, and irrigation associations and farm groups to coordinate and further improve the services of NIA to the community. -- OCE

The rehabilitation of the Upper Chico Irrigation System in Kalinga will resume during the summer months, according to the National Irrigation Administration-Cordillera.

Acting NIA-CAR Manager Benito Espique Jr. said the rehabilitation project is one of the priority projects being fast tracked by the regional office now on its procurement phase, which is being conducted by the Kalinga IMO.

He said there will be full blast rehabilitation during the cut-off of the irrigation from March to May 2018.

Espique said the rehab project is divided in 13 packages to be conducted by various contractors for faster completion of the project.

The rehabilitation project, pegged at P135 million, would cover the concrete lining of the canal, construction of the gabion riprap protection works and procurement and installation of steel gates at check structures. 

To recall, the previous contractor of the UCRIS rehab project, Markbilt Construction/RD Policarpio and Co. Inc, was earlier terminated by the NIA due to its underperformance in carrying out the P450M World Bank-funded rehabilitation project, which started in 2013.

This prompted NIA to takeover the project with a remaining balance of P135M for the rehabilitation, which is funded under World Bank’s Participatory Irrigation Development Project or PIDP. 

The PIDP project supposedly ended on Feb. 27, 2017 but it was extended until Aug. 31, 2018.

There are 58 Participatory Irrigation Development Project (PIDP) in the entire country funded by the World Bank. The biggest projects are in the Cordillera with UCRIS project, which is 33 percent of the country’s loan to World Bank, and the P290-M funded West Abulug Irrigation System (WAIS).

UCRIS provides abundant irrigation to more than 11,000 hectares of rice farms and about 10,000 farmers in Pinukpuk and Tabuk City, Kalinga and nearby Mallig and Quezon, Isabela.

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