90% of associations enjoy free irrigation in Pangasinan

URDANETA CITY – At least 90 percent of the 600 Irrigators Associations (IAs) in Pangasinan now benefits from the government’s policy on free irrigation for farmers.
Engr. John Celeste, regional director of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), said the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between NIA and the IAs signals the start of the “no collection policy.”
“So far, marami na silang (IA) napapirma namin at hindi na sila nagbabayad ng irrigation fee,” Celeste said.
He clarified, however, that the policy takes effect only after the signing of the contract.
“Associations with arrears are still obliged to pay the fees incurred prior to the signing of MOA, unless a new policy condones the payment of arrearages,” he said.
Celeste bared that NIA still tap farmers to clean canals for easy flow of water. Farmer-cleaners are paid P150 per hectare.
“Maglilinis sila ng mga dry and live canal, babayaran sila ng NIA at ma-maximize pa nila ang patubig. Kung maraming matubigan, mas maganda, mas malaki ang rice production natin pati ang kita nila,” Celeste said.
The free irrigation policy was pursued by the Duterte administration this year to help farmers and irrigators produce and earn more for the development of the nation. VHS/PIA-Pangasinan / ABN

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