By ED G. YU
NAGA CITY — From 14 separate field offices operating in the six Bicol provinces, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) starting Jan. 16 this year has streamlined its structure into only four irrigation management offices (IMO) under a regional office in line with its five-year rationalization program.
NIA Bicol Director William P. Ragodon said the new set-up is intended to make the agency’s irrigation service more efficient and responsive to the needs of rice farmers aside from being cost-effective.
Ragodon said streamlined operation resulted to the clustering of all NIA field offices in one or two provinces into one IMO.
The newly-created IMO in the Bicol region are: Camarines Sur IMO that now has overall supervision and control over Camarines Sur Provincial Irrigation Office (PIO), Libmanan-Cabusao Pump Irrigation System, Tigman-Hinagyanan-Inarihan River Irrigation System (RIS), Cagaycay RIS, and Rinconada Integrated Irrigation System (RIIS). This office is headed by Engr. Homer Diokno as officer-in-charge. Diokno is formerly the chief of THIRIS based in Magarao, Camarines Sur.
Aside from Camarines Sur IMO, there are three interim IMOs that are now operating in the region, namely: Camarines Norte IMO, Albay-Catanduanes IMO, and Sorsogon-Masbate IMO.
Camarines Norte IMO covers the three offices of Camarines Norte PIO, Daet-Talisay RIS and Matogdon RIS. It is headed by Engr. Rogelio King.
Albay-Catanduanes IMO covers Albay PIO and Catanduanes PIO. MNOH RIS, South Quinale and Cabilogan-San Juan Communal Irrigation Systems, also in Albay, which have been clustered into a separate office will eventually be absorbed by this IMO. This office is led by Engr. Nino Pontillas.
Sorsogon-Masbate IMO covers Sorsogon PIO, Masbate PIO and Pili-Bulan RIS. It is headed by Engr. Sirvo Manlangit.
The new NIA Bicol set up is called for under the agency’s rationalization program as mandated by Executive Orders Nos. 366 and 741.
Prior to the implementation of the NIA rationalization program, NIA Bicol has 549 authorized plantilla positions. Upon the completion of the ongoing streamlining program in 2012, only 123 authorized plantilla positions will remain.
NIA’s service area in the Bicol region is pegged at 120,381 hectares out of the 239,660 hectares of potential irrigable area. As of the end of 2010, the level of irrigation development in the region is already 50.3 percent, Ragodon said.