THE National Irrigation Administration (NIA) said it signed a partnership with the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center to structure irrigation projects for offering to investors.

In a statement, the NIA and PPP signed a memorandum of agreement on Wednesday to explore various modalities for implementing irrigation projects.

The PPP Center was also engaged to seek other revenue opportunities to make the agency more viable as a government-owned and -controlled corporation.

NIA irrigation facilities water 65.28% of the 3.12 million hectares of Philippine farmland.

PPP projects will “fast-track irrigation development which will sustain needs of farmers and ultimately answer the President’s call to strengthen food security,” the NIA said.

As of March 29, the NIA had identified 50 potential projects for PPP implementation, including those involving hydroelectric power, solar power, aquaculture, wind energy, bulk water supply, water treatment, and carbon credits.

Among the PPPs implemented by the NIA was the Casecnan Multipurpose Irrigation and Power Project, in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija.

It generates electricity via a 150-megawatt hydroelectric power plant and sends water through a 2.67-kilometer underground tunnel into the Pantabangan Reservoir.

The NIA recently has collaborated with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on flood mitigation and irrigation projects.

“Convergence efforts” are currently being pursued on the Palace’s orders to leverage the NIA’s limited funds by partnering with the DPWH, which is well-funded. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera