PGMA orders immediate repair of irrigation facilities in Caraga Region damaged by flooding

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today ordered to accelerate the repair and rehabilitation of the irrigation facilities in the CARAGA region to ensure the steady supply of rice and other agricultural products in the areas.

The President issued the directive following reports on the heavy damage to agriculture caused by the massive flooding in the region over the weekend.

“The restoration of the agriculture facilities, particularly the irrigation system is urgent. It would be better if we can accelerate the repair and rehabilitation efforts of the irrigation system, considering that the Agusan del Sur is one of the major rice producers in the country,” the President told during the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC) Region 13 meeting at the Surigao City Airport here.

Data from the RDCC-Caraga Region as of Jan. 21 showed that damage to irrigation system was estimated at P62-million with Agusan del Sur as badly hit, amounting to P37-million.

“If you could do it by March, it would be better,” the President said, in reference to the immediate repair of the irrigation facilities.

Democratico Grana, regional director of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) said some P42-million is needed for the repair and rehabilitation of the region’s irrigation facilities.

To hasten the rehabilitation efforts, the Chief Executive asked NIA to apply labor intensive methods by tapping the services of the local people and the purchasing of materials within the areas.

The President also ordered the agriculture department to immediately distribute the 8,500 bags of certified seeds to farmers as replenishment to crops damaged by floods.

RDCC-Caraga Region data further showed that total damage to agriculture in the whole region was estimated at P145,302,287, broken down as follows: Agusan del Sur, P79,892,377; Agusan del Norte, P27,237,660; Surigao del Norte, P22,197,250; Surigao del Sur, P12,929,000 and Dinagat Province, P3,046,000.

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