Tagbilaran City – “NIA, IA, LGU magkaagapay para sa ikauunlad ng buhay”, as this year’s anniversary theme suggests, the National Irrigation Administration 7 emphasizes the significance of the relationship between these institutions in achieving the ultimate goal of uplifting the lives of our farmers and eventually provide Central Visayas adequate resources of foods and contribute to the food sufficiency program of our government.
In its six years of dedicated service, NIA 7 has transformed central Visayas as a stable rice producer, not only in the region but across the archipelago. And it doesn’t end with irrigation alone, as more irrigation facilities stretched further, accessibility to the remote areas has improve significantly giving our farmers the convenience and faster accommodation in post-harvest services and assistance.
More than these physical accomplishments, NIA 7 has provided our farmers the necessary knowledge and skills through trainings, seminars and workshops to improve their production as well as the discipline and leadership needed to administer there associations.
Six years must be a brief period compared to other regions but in that span NIA 7 showed that duration doesn’t matter but the quality of service counts and the satisfaction provided to our clientele which are more than enough for the celebration.
This year’s anniversary was remarkably one of the region’s best highlighted by several activities including the blessing and inauguration of the Php 23.00 million infrastructure projects inside the NIA 7 compound. These include the three (3) storeys Central Visayas Training Center which can accommodate up to 100 people, a multipurpose covered court, a three bedroom dormitory and a chapel.
Moreover, twenty eight (28) Communal Irrigation Projects in the province of Bohol which were completed last year were also turned over to their respective Irrigators’ Associations with a total project cost of Php 88.732M, serving a total of 1,276 hectares of farmlands and benefiting 2,370 farmers.
The provincial government of Bohol and the Department of Agriculture through the office of the 2nd Congressional District also took advantage of the occasion and the attendance of roughly 400 farmers to distribute new farm machineries for the IAs of both CIS and NIS.
Together with top dignitaries in the Province of Bohol led by Gov. Edgar M. Chatto and NIA Administrator Florencio F. Padernal, the occasion was also graced by no less than the Secretary of OPAFSAM Hon. Francis “Kiko” N. Pangilinan.
“When I was asked to come here, I did not think twice because my friend in 20 years is here.” referring to the Governor whose support to the NIA over the years was tremendous. “I am very happy to provide whatever support we can give to the region, to the province so that we can address issues of food security and farm modernization” opening his keynote address.
With his experience being a farmer prior to his appointment to overlook the NIA and 3 other agencies, he is not a stranger to problems in this field and in the agriculture sector in general. “Nakita kung gaano kahirap ang magsasaka, at doon po ako nagkaroon ng kakaibang respeto at pagkilala sa sakripisyo ng ating mga magsasaka” Sec. Pangilinan added.
Wrapping up the activity was a brief open forum between the IAs and NIA Administrator Padernal himself addressing some farmers concerns and discussing the NIA’s plans and programs.