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NATIONAL IRRIGATION ADMINISTRATION (NIA)

About NIA
The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) is a government-owned and controlled
corporation primarily responsible for irrigation development in the Philippines. It was
created under Republic Act 3601 on 22 June 1963 with mission of, develop and manage
water resources for irrigation and provide necessary services on a sustainable basis
consistent with the agricultural development program of the government. It was later
amended by Presidential Decree 552 on 1974 and 1702 on 1980, both increasing its
capitalization and broadening its authority.

Administrative Supervision
In the start NIA was placed under the Office of the President, and then it was attached
to the Department of Public Works, Transportation and Communication. The
Administrative Code of 1987 attached NIA to both the Department of Public Works and
Highways and Department of Agriculture. In September 1992, once again it was
attached to Office of the President in and just after one month it was transferred to
Department of Agriculture. It still retains as government-owned and controlled
corporation, enjoying certain autonomy and flexibility in its operations.

Objectives of NIA
to develop and rehabilitate irrigation systems in support of the national food
production program
to provide adequate level of irrigation service on a sustainable basis in
partnership with the farmers
to provide technical assistance to institutions in the development of water
resources for irrigation
to support economic and social growth in the rural areas through irrigation
development and management
to improve and sustain the operation of the Agency as a corporation and service-
oriented agency.

Employees of NIA

Similar to other government agencies, NIA has regular, project and daily employees, are
approved by the Department of Budget and Management. All personnel matters are
governed by the rules and regulations of the Civil Service Commission. NIA regular
employees enjoy permanent status. The appointments of project personals are co-
terminus with their respective projects. Contractual and daily employees are hired when
needed. There are over 6,000 personnel, on regular and contractual basis, currently
employed with the NIA.

NIA willing to implement a five-year rationalization plan this year as set by Executive
Order 718, with financial support by a World Bank loan. The rationalization plan will

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transfer the agency's response to management and administration of the irrigation
systems built by the NIA to the irrigators' associations; it can reduce the employees of
NIA up to 3500.

Earnings of NIA
NIA is authorized to keep its corporate earnings from various activities. Such internally
generated funds are used mainly for operation and maintenance, repair and
maintenance of equipment, institutional development, and investigation and survey.
These include irrigation service fee collection, equipment rentals and pump
amortizations categorized under operating income, and administration and engineering
overhead charge, interest income, proceeds from the sale of idle assets and communal
irrigation systems amortizations as non-operating income. NIA is authorized to charge
five percent of the total costs of the projects it implements as administration and
engineering overhead charge or management fee.

Activities of NIA
1. Project preparation
Project preparation activities are continuously undertaken to have wider base for the
selection of projects for implementation. Feasible projects are packaged for the
Investment Coordination Committee's approval and proposal for funding from loans
or local funds.

2. Construction of irrigation systems


There are three categories of irrigation systems: national, communal, and private.
National irrigation systems are large and medium schemes. These are basically
operated and maintained by NIA where beneficiaries are charged irrigation service fee
for the services rendered in the delivery of water. In the 1980s, joint management of
portions of national systems with irrigators associations was effected.
Communal irrigation systems are small-scale schemes and constructed with the
participation of farmer-beneficiaries or their irrigators associations. The operation and
maintenance of communal irrigation systems is turned over to irrigators associations
upon project completion subject to a cost recovery arrangement. Farmers amortize the
chargeable cost for a period not exceeding 50 years at zero percent interest. The
repayment scheme is pre-arranged and acceptable to both NIA and the irrigators
association.
Private irrigation systems are those constructed, operated and maintained by private
individuals or groups with or without technical assistance by NIA or other
government agencies.

3. Operation and Maintenance


NIA used to solely operate and maintain national irrigation systems. These are now
operated and maintained jointly with irrigators associations. Operation and
maintenance activities comprise of, among others, operation of storage and diversion

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dams; running of pumps; operation of gates, turnouts and drainage ditches;
preparation and implementation of cropping and irrigation schedules; maintenance of
the physical facilities including service and access roads, and repairs on minor
damages caused by floods and typhoons.
There are 204 national irrigation systems nationwide with total area of 704,746 hectares
as of June 2006. Thirty percent of the areas are served by reservoir-backed systems,
sixty five percent by run-of-the river diversion systems, and five percent by pump
systems. The dominant crop in these areas is rice comprising ninety five percent. The
remaining five percent are corn, sugarcane, bananas and some vegetables. There are
about 544,678 farmers benefiting from national irrigation systems.
The irrigation service fee is charged by NIA from the beneficiaries in national systems
as payment for the services rendered in the delivery of water. NIA is authorized to
collect irrigation service fee pursuant to the several acts and Presidential decrees.
Factors considered in setting the irrigation service fee rates are the system's scheme of
development (run-off-the-river, reservoir and pump), crops planted, and season.
These are denominated in kind, in cavans of paddy per hectare. Rates for pump
systems are higher as the cost of power for pump operation is included in the
computation. These vary from system to system because power rates are location-
specific.

4. Institutional development
NIA's institutional development program is looking to delegate the partial or full
management of national irrigation systems to duly organized cooperatives or
associations to empower the farmer-beneficiaries. Farmers are organized into
irrigators associations and strengthened through training activities to make them more
effective partners of NIA in irrigation development and management.

5. Rehabilitation and improvement of national and communal systems


NIA rehabilitates national and communal irrigation systems to address the wear and
tear of irrigation facilities and structures. Rehabilitation entails the reconstruction or
restoration of irrigation and drainage facilities to their original design. It can also
include the expansion of service areas and provision of additional structures like
adequate control structures, drainage systems, on-farm facilities, and service roads.