The Kapatagan irrigation facility, one of three being constructed now by the Basilan provincial government. Unson
Farmers to benefit from irrigation projects in Basilan
John Unson ( - May 25, 2019 - 4:20pm

BASILAN, Philippines — Muslim and Christian farmers stand to benefit from three different irrigation facilities being constructed now by the provincial government in this island province to hasten its recovery from armed conflicts.

The Kapatagan and Sumagdang irrigation projects, each costing P15 million, are located in Barangays Kapatagan ang Sumagdang, both in Isabela City.

A larger P35 million worth irrigation facility is also being built in Barangay Balobo in Lamitan City by the office of Basilan Gov. Jim Salliman.

The irrigation projects, bankrolled by the National Irrigation Administration, were designed to boost the productivity of farmers in the three beneficiary barangays.

Lamitan City Vice Mayor Roderick Furigay on Saturday said he is thankful to the Salliman administration and NIA for embarking on the irrigation project in Barangay Balobo.

“It will benefit hundreds of Muslim and Christian farmers. With good harvests, they shall earn more money to sustain their families and the schooling of their children,” Furigay said.

The provincial government is constructing for NIA the three irrigation facilities based on agreements covered by government accounting regulations.

“As I see it, the irrigation project in Barangay Balobo is being built according to specifications. I am sure those being built in Isabela City are also according to specifications,” Furigay said.

Furigay said the construction of the two irrigation systems in Isabela City will complement the socio-economic programs of mayor-elect Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman.

Campaigners of the incoming Isabela City mayor highlighted during the campaign period her desire to improve domestic commerce and trade if elected to office.

Turabin-Hataman will assume as mayor of Isabela City on June 30.

Furigay said he will urge his constituent-merchants and entrepreneurs in Lamitan City, the capital of Basilan, to cooperate with their counterparts in Isabela City in helping the new mayor achieve her good governance objectives.

Salliman said he will reach out to potential benefactors in the national government that can help provide infrastructure projects needed to generate more livelihood opportunities for settlers in the cities of Lamitan and Isabela.

Officials of the provincial government said among the focus now of Salliman, reelected to a second term last May 13, is to entice investors to put up viable agricultural projects in the island province to cushion the adverse effect of the “cocolisap” infestation that destroyed vast swaths of coconut plantations in many towns.

“With proper infrastructure support from the provincial government and investments from capitalists, our coconut growers can surely recover and there shall also be employment too for the local labor sector,” Salliman said.

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