On June 15-16, 2017, NEDA Undersecretary for Regional Development Adoracion M. Navarro, together with the Assistant Regional Director and staff of the Project Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PMED) of NEDA RO2, visited the Flood Risk Management Project (FRIMP) for Cagayan River sub-project in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan and the Pasa Small Reservoir Irrigation Project (Pasa SRIP) in Ilagan City, Isabela. The objective of the project visit was to draw out the issues and concerns encountered and at the same time gather the good practices in project implementation.

 

In her visit to the ongoing projects, she unselfishly shared her insights and recommendations to further improve the implementation or sustain the smooth implementation of the projects. On the implementation of the FRIMP, she commended the project implementers for the speedy implementation of the projects which gained a positive 18% physical slippage ahead of its 8% target as of June 7, 2017. She likewise encouraged them to feedback to the RPMC should there be any implementation issue and concern that may arise in the future.

Meanwhile, at the Pasa SRIP, she advocated for project sustainability and infrastructure resiliency. She suggested for operation and management reprogramming to incorporate climate smart infrastructure in the project design like slope protection along lateral canals and inclined canals, including the planting of vetiver grass and coconet for slope protection and protection from siltation of canals. She also advised the RPMC to coordinate with agencies concerned to establish sustainability measures and educate farmers to maintain buffer zones. She likewise called upon the DA to assess the possibility of conversion of rolling hills into terraces to maximize the use of the irrigation facility.

She also underscored the significant role of farmers and irrigators’ associations in the operation and management of the irrigation facility once it is completed and turned-over to them. With this, she said that a refresher course is needed for irrigators associations to review learnings from previous trainings attended particularly on the maintenance of canals. Furthermore, she suggested that trainees of international and local institutions should be well documented and reported and that documents should be retained within the agencies for reference and future use. She also illustrated that Board of Directors of Irrigators association at Pasa SRIP can have their term of office in a rotational manner to ensure the continuity of plans and retention of stock knowledge about the project.

In connection with the implementation of the Reforestation and Management component of the irrigation project, she suggested the planting of fast growing indigenous tree species and involve the members of Irrigators Associations in the maintenance of planted seedlings. This is to attain a higher survival rate of planted seedlings in the identified reforestation area.

The FRIMP is targeted to be completed by August 2019 while the Pasa SRIP will be completed by August 2017.

Relative to the ongoing construction of the FRIMP, the team also visited the PAGASA Tuguegarao Synop Station, specifically the Cagayan River Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (CRFFWC) located at the Cagayan Provincial Capitol Compound in Tuguegarao City. The team learned from Engr. Leo L. Buñag, Chief Meteorological Officer, that the Center is proposing for the conduct of “Flood Drill” especially for the LGUs. Usec Navarro requested the support of the RDC2 and OCD in institutionalizing the conduct of flood drill especially here in the region where flooding frequently occurs.

It was also shown to the team the damaged and phased-out equipment of the station which need to be replaced. The lack of personnel in the station which includes meteorologist was also brought out during the visit. Usec. Navarro said that SUCs in the region can be tapped to offer related courses to augment the personnel needed in the station.

The project visit in the region is just one of the scheduled visits of the Undersecretary to the different regions in the country. Usec. Navarro is the Chairperson of the National Project Monitoring Committee (NPMC) which oversees the implementation of major development programs and projects implemented throughout the country.###