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BONTOC, Mountain Province – Bontoc Mayor Franklin C. Odsey and Regional Executive Director Dr. Cameron P. Odsey of the Department of Agriculture (DA-CAR) led the Inauguration and Turnover Ceremony of the Communal Irrigation System (CIS) in Barangay Mainit of this capital town on December 3, 2020.
The project costing P9,361,144.14 was funded by the DA – Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management Project (INREMP) with a cost-share of P8, 237, 806.84 and Bontoc LGU counterpart of P1,123,337.30.
The water irrigation system project came into fruition due to a convergence of efforts by the DA and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through the INREMP, Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Funding for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Bontoc Local Government Unit (LGU).
The Mainit CIS will benefit a total of 306 households and can accommodate 36 hectares of agricultural lands. The people in Mainit, like other outskirt barangays of Bontoc, are dependent on agriculture as their main source of livelihood. Among the commodities produced by farmers in Mainit are heirloom rice, high value vegetables, pechay, beans, squash and other leafy vegetables.
Mayor Odsey in his message reminisced his childhood and adolescence years when men have to stay awake overnight and stay in the rice fields to ensure that they have equal share of water that irrigates their rice fields.
With the completion of the irrigation system in Mainit, the mayor remarked that this is of great help to the farmer-beneficiaries and will motivate them to plow the rice fields that have been left unattended for years due to water irrigation problems.
With this, he urged the beneficiaries to sustain the productivity of their agricultural lands and take good care of the irrigation project.
Odsey thanked the DA -CAR, DENR, ADB and IFAD for the unending assistance and support to the municipality geared towards uplifting living conditions of the people.
Punong Barangay Johnson B. Tangchor extended the profound gratitude of the people of Mainit to DA, DENR, ADB, IFAD, Bontoc LGU, and other concerned agencies for the realization of the irrigation system project.
He assured that the community would take good care of the irrigation system project since they are the ones that would benefit from it.
Likewise, members of Aliwes Irrigators Association in Mainit expressed their gratitude through a song.
They thanked the government for all its interventions and initiatives to uplift the life of the community.
Aside from the communal irrigation system, the farmer-beneficiaries mentioned that they benefitted from the Reforestation Program of the national government wherein they were able to plant coffees covering 50 hectares of agricultural land.
They proudly remarked that the coffee are now growing and they are hopeful to sell organic coffee not only in Mountain Province, but for export too.
DA Regional Executive Director Dr. Cameron P. Odsey mentioned that the project came into fruition due to the support of all the concerned agencies, the Bontoc LGU, and the community.
He likewise expressed high hopes that the project shall serve its purpose–to increase the heirloom rice production in Barangay Mainit and to improve the life in the community.
Mountain Province Congressman Maximo Dalog, Jr., in his message relayed by his staff, lauded the implementing agencies and fellow public servants for their selfless services and bringing the services of the government to the grassroots–the community.
Also present during the occasion are officials from the DENR, personnel from the DA- CAR, Sangguniang Bayan members, municipal employees, barangay officials, and the Mainit community.
The occasion was held at the recently – blessed St. Joseph Anglican Church.
By Alpine L. Killa
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis