NIA commits to accelerated irrigation, RE development

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has inked two memorandums of understanding (MOUs) aimed at accelerating irrigation development and utilization of NIA’s assets for renewable energy development.

In a statement, NIA said it signed MOUs with BPE Corp. (BPEC) and China Railway Construction Corp. Ltd.

NIA acting administrator Eduardo Eddie Guillen and BPE Corp. (BPEC) president Jesus Francisco Gabriel Delgado signed the MOU for the feasibility study on the pilot installation of a micro-hydro power system at the weir of the Angat Maasim River Irrigation System (AMRIS) South Main Canal in the municipality of Angat, Bulacan.

“The project is entitled Project GENIHAR or Generate-Irrigate-Harvest. The MOU signing denotes the joint effort of NIA and BPEC to optimize the utilization of irrigation water for renewable energy development,” NIA said.

It emphasized that given the challenges brought by climate change, investing in renewable energy is the best option for sustainable development.

“With the signing of the  MOU, NIA and BPEC have strengthened their partnership and efforts to develop more economically viable, environmentally sensible, and socially responsible renewable energy projects in the years to come,” it said.

According to the NIA,  the MOU symbolizes the collaborative efforts of the two parties to pursue Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives.

The MOU identified three priority projects, particularly the Ilocos Norte-Ilocos Sur-Abra Irrigation Project, Upper Banaoang Irrigation Project, and Tumauini River Irrigation Project.

“With NIA’s pursuit in developing climate-smart, multipurpose irrigation systems, and in increasing irrigated areas to contribute in the overall agricultural productivity and attain food security, PPP is eyed to fast-track and expand irrigation development through private sector expertise,” the agency said.

The NIA was created through Republic Act 3601 with the purpose of expanding irrigated farmlands to support crop production, increase the productivity of farmers, and ensure a stable supply of farm commodities.

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