PPP eyed for irrigation

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    Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary William Dar has asked the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) to look into the possibility of tapping the private sector to fast track the development of irrigation facilities in the country.

    “At the rate government including the experiences of previous governments is investing in national irrigation systems development, it would take another 20 years to have this fully developed. I have recommended to the NIA for them to consider studying PPP (public-private partnership) under a build and transfer scheme so that they can now accelerate the development of national irrigation systems,” Dar said during the 11th World Rice Conference in Makati City.

    This is necessary since 1.2 million hectares of land in the country still needs national irrigation systems, Dar noted.

    NIA recently inked partnerships with the private sector, namely Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Metropac Cagayan De Oro Inc. (MCDO), for the utilization of excess water from two irrigation systems for domestic consumption.

    Under their agreement, excess water from Bukal Dam, Embarcadero Dam, Tres Cruzes Dam, Bayan Dam and Plucena Dam with an aggregate volume of 94,060 cubic meters per day will be tapped by Maynilad. All the dams are located in Cavite and being managed by NIA.

    The partnership with MCDO will pursue the conveyance of 30 million liters per day of excess water from the Bubunawan River irrigation system located in Baungon, Bukidnon, to the designated point of the company for a period of five years.