Monday, February 5, 2018 - 04:30

February 5, 2018 - Farmers Satisfaction Survey Result (FSS) for NIA-Region IV-A was recently released by Batangas State University (BSU)  and Southern Luzon State University (SLSU), commissioned SUCs as third party of NIA-Region IV-A.  Said activity was conducted from November  2017 to January 15, 2018.  For CY 2017, we attained an average mean of 4.41 which is Very Satisfactory (VS) with 96.62% satisfied farmers under the NIS. This is a big leap from the previous year wherein increase of 0.7 in average mean from Satisfactory to VS level and increase to 9.8 in the percentage satisfaction of farmers in NIS. On the other hand, CIS attained an average mean of 4.12, increase of 0.11 from last year with an adjective rating of Satisfactory and 93.64% satisfied farmers benefiting from the agency’s services, gaining 3.69%. 

This is the third year NIA-Region IV-A commissioned SLSU for the provinces of Laguna, Rizal and Quezon while second time for BSU to conduct the survey for Batangas and Cavite provinces.  All Irrigators Associations (IAs) under NIS which has 80 IAS  undergone the said survey while 30% of the operational CIS-IAs both for wet and dry season which is 77 IAs were considered. Total number of respondents is 1,413 farmers randomly selected from up, mid and downstream.

 It will be noted that conduct of FSS is among the Performance Agreement Negotiation (PAN) of NIA with GCG.  Nine (9) survey questionnaires  for NIS and six (6) for CIS were administered to determine the degree of farmers satisfaction  as to the services being delivered to them. These are 1 – Compliance in the implementation of agreed cropping calendar; 2 – Timeliness of delivery and distribution of irrigation water; 3 – Equitability of delivery & distribution of irrigation water; 4 – Action on request for rehabilitation/construction of irrigation systems/projects; 5 – Quality of construction/rehabilitation of irrigation facilities/structures; 6 – Action on requests for technical advisory/support services; 7 – Quality of technical advisory/support services provided; 8 – Action on requests for trainings and other capacity building programs, and; 9 – Quality of training and other capacity building program provided. 

Survey questionnaire for CIS-IAs focused on the following:  1 –– Action on request for rehabilitation/construction of irrigation systems/projects; 2 – Quality of construction/rehabilitation of irrigation facilities/structures; 3 – Action on requests for technical advisory/support services; 4 –  Quality of technical advisory/support services provided; 5 – Action on requests for trainings and other capacity building programs, and; 6 – Quality of training and other capacity building program provided.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 04:15

January 16, 2018 – Employees and officials of National Irrigation Administration Region 4A warmly welcome the homecoming of Engr. Romeo “Romy” M. Lopez during the leadership turnover ceremony held at NIA Region 4A covered court, Pila Laguna on January 16, 2018.

Then NIA 4A Regional Manager Engr. Modesto M. Membreve handed the “Key of Leadership” to Director Lopez along with all the responsibilities anchored with the position.

Before heading to 4A, Engr. Lopez was the Regional Manager of NIA Region 5 in Naga City, Camarines Sur. He assumed his post in NIA region 4A replacing Engr. Modesto Membreve 
after the latter move to Region 7 and assumed leadership in the region.

A native of Lucena City, Quezon, Engr. Romeo Lopez gained his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering at Luzonian University Foundation in Lucena City in 1980. He also pursued a graduate study of Master in Public Administration at Union College of Laguna in 2008.

From Civil Engineering Aide, to the Division Manager, and now Acting Regional Manager, Director Romy has literally risen from the ranks. A true-blooded NIAn, he started his service as Civil Engineering Aide in Quezon Provincial Irrigation Office (PIO) in 1980. 
After three years he was transferred to Marinduque PIO as Acting Provincial Irrigation Engineer. In 1984, with his exemplary service, he was promoted as Supervising Engineer A and was assigned to Romblon PIO as Provincial Irrigation Officer. 

His effort and dedication paid off as he received numerous awards lauding his significant contribution in the agency. From three consecutive years, 2007-2009, he was hailed as the Outstanding Provincial Irrigation Engineer of the Year.

He spent almost 20 years in different provincial offices, including Marinduque, Romblon,  Aurora, Laguna, and Quezon before he assumed the Division Manager post in Laguna-Rizal Irrigation Management Office in Pila Laguna. 

He was also a full-fledged Division Manager of Quezon Irrigation Management Office (IMO) in September 2014 – May 2015, and also served as Acting Regional Manager of NIA Region 4A.

With his fully equipped experiences in field operations, Engr. Lopez was given a chance to help the NIA Central Office as the Operation Manager from 2015-2017.  

In all his previous speaking engagements, RM Lopez vowed to focus on timely project implementation, to strengthen partnership with stakeholders, and to institute measures for a more efficient service for farmers in the region. 

He said that his leadership in the region was also guided with the direction of NIA Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya’s  4-point agenda to which the agency is embarking on. 

A passer of Career Service Executive, RM Lopez committed to lead the region with integrity and efficiency. During his first weeks in the post, RM Lopez visited several irrigation projects to personally know the status of implementation. He also scheduled various meetings with the leaders of towns and provinces to strengthen the agency’s partnership for a smooth coordination and assistance. 


Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 03:45

It was during the CY 2017 RICE ACHIEVERS AWARDS Pagpupugay sa mga Natatanging Lalawigan, Bayan, Irrigators Associations and SWISA that SANTAMASI was given the special award and cash prize of Php 100,000.00, held in PICC, Pasay City last May 31, 2018.  The Rice Achievers Award is a Dept. of Agriculture nationwide annual event that recognizes the efforts of outstanding rice producers of the country.   It is the DA’s way to motivate and show appreciation for any group or institution sharing their contribution to the government thrust on food production. 

SANTAMASI organized in mid80’s, has been an active Irrigators Association and consistent awardee as NIA-Region IV Outstanding IA in NIS Category from CY 1992 – 2002. Though its organizing period was not that easy, IA challenges abound them.  With the dedication and commitment attributed to NIA staff’s effort in implementing participatory approach in the management of irrigation systems, soon the IA was involved in the operation and maintenance with 974 hectares and 34.95 kilometers canal length entering into Joint System Management and later to Model III Contract where an 82% CE was attained. At present, Modified IMT contract is being implemented by the IA per MC 13 S. 2017


Sunday, January 7, 2018 - 03:00

NIA 4A gathered together on January 7, 2017 - a cheery Saturday morning, to warmly welcome the visit of the newly installed NIA Administrator Mr. Peter Tiu Laviña who brought with him DA USEC Evelyn Laviña whom as the Admin said is like a “buy one take one” for 4A as any question about agriculture can be answered first-hand coming from a DA official.

This visit is in line with the new Administrator’s plan to visit irrigation systems all-over the country to see the actual situation of irrigation facilities as well as to visit the regional offices and their farmer-beneficiaries represented by the Irrigators’ Association.

In this visit, Administrator Laviña captured the hearts of each one present as he presented his plan and program for NIA. With his Kuadro De Alas mantra, he enumerated his focus for the agency, for its employees and for the Irrigators’ Associations.

Kuadro de Alas - For the agency:

  1. Free Irrigation – as Administrator Laviña said, this is an election promise of President Duterte which must be pursued for the benefit of our farmers;

  2. Constructing more irrigation projects to Increase irrigated area – with the present 57% currently irrigated in the country from the targeted 3.2 million hectare irrigable area, while some area slowly being urbanized, Administrator Laviña declared that NIA has to exert utmost effort to make sure that the remaining 1.3 million hectare will be irrigated as soon as possible;

  3. Harnessing of water resources for mini hydro-power plants in irrigation system that would serve both energy generation which would help ease the problem on power crisis and irrigation.

  4. Institutional review of the agency in line with the plan proposal for a constitutional change which Administrator Laviña stated that a Federal System could happen in 2-3 years.

Kuadro de Alas - For the Irrigators’ Association:

  1. No ISF – as President Duterte promised, irrigation will now be free for the farmers to at least ease their burden on farming expenses;

  2. Further strengthening of Irrigators’ Associations (IA) – NIA will continue on its institutional work to boost and strengthen each and every Irrigators’ Association that can manage to stand on its own.   Federation of IAs will also be pursued to empower them for future activities. He also announced the search for the Model IA Federation and Model IA to be given special citation and special support as promised by the Chinese government with their promised P4.5Billion assistance to our government, according to the Administrator.

  3. Alternative to lost incentive (share on ISF collection) – IAs/farmer-members will be encouraged to pursue entrepreneurship - to be not just a farmer but a businessman as well, to increase income.  Administrator Laviña also said that IAs are tax exempt and should carry out the process to claim this incentive. For other sources of fund for IA Operation and Maintenance, in lieu of their share from ISF, the IA can collect Annual & Monthly Dues, Membership fee, etc. suggested by the Administrator.

  4. NIA in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) will join together to continuously support the needs of the farmers through the various program of DA.

Kuadro de Alas - For the Employees:

                Administrator Laviña revealed to the assembly that since 2012 – NIA employees were left behind by other government agencies in salary increase, that is why some NIA engineers were pirated by DPWH who have a better salary scale.

                With this, for his initial action, the Administrator shown his care for the welfare of NIA employees with another kuadro de alas:

  1. The Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) of the employees’ union – the NIAEASP; and

  2. The Performance Based Bonus (PBB):
    Coordination were made by the Administrator with the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) to give due considerations wherein NIA performance has been affected due to a number of strong typhoons that have hit the country for the last couple of years. And with the recently concluded national election - election ban resulted to delayed release of fund, hence, delayed projects implementation/completion. As a result of his intervention, over-all NIA performance pegged to 75% to qualify for the CNA and PBB. He also asked NIAEASP officers to coordinate with the GCG about this.

  3. The Salary Standardization Law (SSL) IV.
    Administrator Laviña announced that the Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Leoncio B. Evasco, Jr. has already signed and submitted a Memorandum/Proposal to the Office of the President for the Support in the Adoption of SSL-IV for affected GOCCs. With the approval of President Duterte, this will mean that NIA salary scale will level-up to other government agencies under the SSL IV;

  4. Viability Incentive Grant (VIG).
    The VIG request was left behind and has been a carry-over from the last administration which was addressed to President Aquino. It was necessary to make another request, now addressed to President Duterte wherein Administrator Laviña has already signed and submitted it to the Office of the President. He also said that he already made a follow-up with the Executive Secretary, Mr. Salvador C. Medialdea.

With the full support of the Congress who sees the need to increase the budget of NIA, all the program and project proposals will surely be accomplished, all these for Rice Self-Sufficiency in the country.

As the Administrator said - Sa Suntok ng Pagbabago, Knock-out ang kahirapan.