Irrigation agency keeps program on track amid health crisis

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija – Amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic that hit the country and other parts of the world since the first quarter of 2020, the various offices under the Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation Service (UPRIIS) which manage irrigation supplies for more than 142,000 hectares of rice lands in this province and adjoining areas, have been on track with their programs to boost agriculture.

Engineer Rosalinda Bote, department manager of National Irrigation Administration (NIA)-UPRIIS, on Thursday said that the agency “remains resilient with its continuous services” to irrigators’ associations (IAs) within its service areas.

Bote said after building the Farmers’ Training Center, UPRIIS now has a new chapel.

She said UPRIIS acquired vehicles that resulted in an upscaled service to farmers, modernization of office buildings, real-time data installed by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), automation of Rizal Dam, and programming of local dams, among others.

Despite quarantine restrictions the agency has to comply with in accordance with protocols imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force against Covid-19, Bote said UPRIIS had undertaken the groundbreaking of Balabalungao Dam last July while the Upper Tabuating Irrigation Project is set to open this year.

“(These) are evidence of UPRIIS commitment to provide the quality irrigation services to all our partner-farmer IAs, linking the said irrigation programs with eco-tourism and income-generating projects as well,” she said in an interview.

This, as Bote underscored other accomplishments rendered by UPRIIS during their nationwide NIA ushering ceremony held virtually on Wednesday that was participated in by its six divisions. (PNA)

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