The National Irrigation Administration, in partnership with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), formally inaugurated and turned over the newly completed extension project of Burubor Communal Irrigation System (CIS), located at Cabaruan, Maddela, Quirino, to the Dumalata Irrigators’ Association (IA) on October 29, 2021. Funded under the Irrigation Component of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, the Project was given an allocation of Php 4.5M for the construction of Diversion Structure, Pipeline, Water Storage Tanks, and other farm level facilities with a new generated area of 45 hectares benefiting 28 ARB’s.

With Quirino Congressman Junie E. Cua as special guest of honor, the occasion was also attended by NIA-Region 2 Regional Manager Raymundo B. Apil, Quirino IMO Division Manager Edison L. Tolentino, DAR-Quirino PARO Jess Beth G. Quidasol with PARCOM Members, Maddela Mayor Rimel C. Tolentino, Cabaruan Barangay Captain Walter Miguel and Dumalata IA President Marcelino O. Beling, farmer-beneficiaries and Quirino IMO personnel. In their separate messages, Mayor Tolentino and Barangay Captain Walter Miguel both expressed their gratitude to the NIA as implementing agency and the DAR who funded the irrigation project and vowed for LGU assistance for the operation and maintenance of the system. They urged the IA to manage effectively and efficiently the operation and maintenance of the project that may now transform or improve the lives of the farmers in the locality, who have long been relying on rains.

The DAR Chief Ms. Jess Beth G. Quidasol expressed her appreciation to the National Irrigation Administration for implementing the project and committed to fund more irrigation projects for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARB) in the province.  She further informed that DAR likewise offer farm machineries to ARBs, under its Department of Agrarian Reform-Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Support Project (DAR-CRFPSP).

Congressman Junie E. Cua, in his inspirational message, looked back on how the Quirino Province was transformed from a mere forest region of Nueva Vizcaya into a well-developed province as what it is today. This was possible with the unity and cooperation of Quirinians. “Sa pag-asenso ng isang lugar, hindi lang dapat nakikita sa paligid. Dapat rin na magkaroon ng asenso sa bulsa ng mga tao. Importante na dapat may tulong ang Gobyerno para suportahan ang mga pangkabuhayan ng mga tao lalong-lalo na sa ating mga magsasaka”, he said. He added that water is an important component for agricultural production that spur economic activity and development.  And for this, the Congressman expressed his thanks and appreciation to the National Irrigation Administration, Department of Agrarian Reform, and the Local Government Unit for their full support in the realization of the project.

In his message, Division Manager Edison L. Tolentino thanked Congressman Junie E. Cua for his unconditional support to the programs of the NIA in the province of Quirino and who is also instrumental in lobbying for additional irrigation funds for the province.  And for NIA to continue assisting communal irrigation systems under its fold (threatened by the impending devolution to LGUs), Engr. Tolentino openly requested Cong. Cua on the possibility to sponsor a bill in the Congress for the redefinition of a communal irrigation system (CIS), whereby all communal irrigation systems with a service area of more than 100 hectares be retained to the NIA as national irrigation system (NIS).  This will unburden LGUs, where these CIS are to be devolved, of having to maintain the operation of too many communal irrigation systems, without technical/operational expertise and capabilities.  Secondly, Division Manager Tolentino expressed his gratitude to the DAR-Quirino, under PARO Jess Beth G. Quidasol, and to make good her commitment to fund more irrigation projects (under its CARP-IC program) for agrarian reform beneficiaries within the province of Quirino.  Thirdly, he urged the Dumalata IA, under the leadership of IA President Marcelino O. Beling, to take good care of the Burubor CIS and see to it that proper operation and maintenance must be prioritize for efficient delivery of irrigation water.

NIA-Region 02 Director Raymundo B. Apil, expressed his gratitude to Cong. Junie E. Cua for his continuing support to the NIAs program in the province and who has long been lobbying for NIA funds for various irrigation projects in Quirino.  RIM Apil expressed his gratitude to DAR who was responsible for the release of fund (CARP-IC) for the construction of Burubor CIS, meant for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARB) in this barangay. “The ball now lies in the hands of the farmer-beneficiaries thru their IA, for the proper operation and maintenance of this system and ensure that all intended farmer-beneficiaries be equitably provided with irrigation water”, the RIM said.  “ Various IA capability and strengthening will be given to you, like System Management Training, so you would be equipped with the proper operation and maintenance of the system, “ he added.

Indeed, amidst the limitations and threats brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Irrigation Administration under the leadership of Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya and Region 2 Regional Manager Raymundo B. Apil, remains committed and dedicated to its mandate of providing efficient, effective, and sustainable irrigation systems within the Cagayan Valley Region.