“Our farmers in the towns of Narra and Aborlan in Palawan will benefit immensely from the newly-renovated Malatgao River Irrigation System and Post-Harvest Facilities. This project was made possible through the efforts of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) with funding from the Japan International Copperation Agency (JICA).”

This was the statement of Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles who was the guest speaker last Monday during the inauguration and turnover ceremonies of the irrigation project in Narra town.

“Our ultimate aim is to produce a steady supply of rice and improve the livelihood of our farmers.”

“This important project aims to increase palay yield in the area, which is considered the “rice granary” of Palawan. We intend to strengthen the irrigation operation and management systems through improved facilities and focused assistance to the local Irrigators Association. Our ultimate aim is to produce a steady supply of rice and improve the livelihood of our farmers,” Nograles said.

The Cabinet Secretary said that the Japanese government provided a funding of Php 202,020,137.13 which was used for the rehabilitation of the diversion dam, main canal, laterals, drainage canal structures, drainage structures, on-farm structures as well as the construction of service roads and offices of the Irrigators Association.  

An estimated 1,585 farmers stand to benefit from the free improved irrigation facilities. Around 3,014.74 hectares of farmland would be covered in the towns of Narra and Aborlan.   

The improved post-harvest facilities and twelve new offices of the Irrigators Association would help farmers avoid spoilage of their palay harvests. The offices in particular can serve as meeting venues for the farmers.

“The Duterte administration is working hard to uplift the agriculture sector. We will improve the lives of farmers by providing a comprehensve range of assistance covering pre-planting up to post-harvest,” Nograles emphasized.

According to the Malacanang official, the administration expects to double the existing amount of assistance to ensure farm productivity in key areas such as Palawan.

“The Duterte administration is working hard to uplift the agriculture sector. We will improve the lives of farmers by providing a comprehensve range of assistance.”

Palawan was one of the worst-hit provinces when Typhoon Yolanda struck in 2013, having suffered massive destructions of farm properties and agriculture support infrastructure.

“We haven’t forgotten the need to rehabilitate, years after Yolanda, that’s why we continue to pour funds to improve irrigation, build facilities and establish sustainable livelihood programs to help affected citizens.”

“We will achieve the twin goals of food security and improvement of farmer’s livelihoods through these initiatives. The government is on course to implement similar programs in other areas,” stressed the Cabinet Secretary.

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