Free Irrigation Service Act approved in principle by Bicam

Rice farms along the national highway in Barangay Trece Martirez, Casiguran, Sorsogon where farmers rely on irrigation facilities. But, they complain of high irrigation fees collected by NIA and call to abolish the service fees. BICOLTODAY.COM PHOTO

By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.

QUEZON CITY — A priority bill filed by Coop Natcco Partylist Representative Anthony Bravo calling for the abolition of the irrigation service fees for the millions of Filipino farmers hurdled the bicameral conference committee of both houses of Congress after minor revisions. The second-termer congressman is the principal author of the measure.

House Bill 189 filed during the 16th congress titled Free Irrigation Service Act abolishes the irrigation service fee imposed by the National Irrigation Administration to farmers. Aimed to condone all penalties, interest of unpaid irrigation service fees can be done by building and operationalize an effective grassroots-based management of irrigation systems composed of the government, farmers or irrigators association and farmers cooperatives was the intention of the measure.

It, however, distance owners, operators of corporate farms, plantations, fishpond and other non-agricultural crop users that are using the facilities of the irrigation system of NIA given the business orientation of this group.

Bravo assured the farmers that all irrigation system constructed and funded by NIA, Department of Agriculture or any government agency or local government units would be funded by the General Appropriation Act to cover the charges, fees, and other financial impositions to farmers, irrigator’s associations and farmer cooperatives.

The success of this measure is a victory for the farmers made possible by the understanding of the vulnerability of the farm sector of my fellow house members and the esteemed members of the Senate, he added. [BicolToday.com]

Posted by on October 13, 2017. Filed under Nation,Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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