DAVAO CITY - Mindanao's biggest irrigation project of the Davao Oriental provincial government is set to be turned over soon to the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).
In a statement Wednesday, Governor Corazon Malanyaon said the provincial government decided to turn over the Cateel Irrigation Project (CIP) and its management to NIA to help maximize the dam's operation and support the province's efforts to boost rice sufficiency.
With NIA having sufficient funds and technical expertise to maintain the dam, Malanyaon said the provincial government is confident that the facility will function to its fullest for the benefit of local farmers.
"The full operation of the dam is critical to the province's goal of achieving food security through rice sufficiency," she said.
Funded under the Mindanao Rural Development Program, the CIP will provide sustainable irrigation water to approximately 1,600 hectares of suitable lands, covering 11 barangays.
The dam's construction started in Nov. 2011 but was halted due to Typhoon Pablo and completed in 2014.
With a PHP498-million budget, the infrastructure was the last of the big-ticket projects of the 15-year Mindanao development program.
"While it is hard to let it go since it was our legacy project, there is an urgency to turn over its management to the agency due to the province's current financial challenges," Malanyaon said.
This year, the province is set to undergo a PHP400 million budget cut from its share of the national income due to the pandemic. (PNA)