ONLY 38 of 80 irrigation areas have upgraded their facilities as of August despite ample budget given to the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) over the years, a senator said on Thursday.  

“This is infuriating,” said Senator Rafael “Raffy” T. Tulfo, noting that NIA’s delayed projects have been pending for more than two decades and “were left to rot.” 

During the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing, Mr. Tulfo cited NIA’s own data in June 2022 showing that only a little over 65% of the country’s 3,128,000-hectare total irrigation area were irrigated.
Agriculture Undersecretary Leocadio S. Sebastian told the same hearing that he was not satisfied with the country’s performance in irrigation for rice production. — John Victor D. Ordoñez