Zarraga town mayor John Tarrosa (left) and NIA 6 regional manager Gerardo P. Corsiga (right) discuss collaborative efforts for the improvement of the Sigangao creek. 

NIA Iloilo – The creek improvement project of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) here received credit for being beneficial to its stakeholders. No less than Mayor John Tarrosa of Zarraga praised and thanked NIA for improving Sigangao Creek in his municipality.

Parallel to the town’s vision of “Clean, Safe and Green”, the project according to the mayor will support agriculture, flood mitigation, and environmental protection initiatives of Zarraga.

Sigangao creek is one of the outfalls of the Jalaur River that flows from central portion of Panay. During heavy rain, the creek floods neighbouring communities leaving behind huge losses in agriculture and properties. With this, Zarraga is considered one of the most flooded towns of Iloilo.

“Ang project ng NIA really served its purpose. . . it did not only contribute to flood mitigation but at the same time ang farmers namin may water na during dry season (NIA’s project served its purpose. . .not only that that it contributed to flood mitigation but it will provide water for our farmers during dry season),” said Tarossa.

Also, the project according to Tarrosa will promote collaboration among national government agencies, the Local Government Unit, Civil Society Organizations and the academe for environmental protection. The project site will be turned into an eco-tourism site. Trees that were cut down to give way for the project will be replaced. The LGU in cooperation with NIA, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Solutions Ecosystems Activator of Zarraga, and the residents themselves will work together to restore and improve habitat in the creek.

On June 16, 2016, NIA convened said stakeholders to form an inter-sectoral Technical Working Group to oversee the project. Included in the TWG are design engineers and institutional development workers of NIA, the engineers of Zarraga, DENR, Department of Public Works and Highways, representative from CSO, and the academe.

NIA Regional Manager Gerardo P. Corsiga explained that the same TWG will also be formed for other NIA projects in the region to ensure their holistic implementation.

The creek improvement in Sigangao is part of NIA’s 46-million drainage improvement program in the province. Lampaya creek in Calinog town and Bolilao creek in Dumangas town were also improved and rehabilitated under the program.

About Nicanor Perlas

Nicanor Perlas received the Right Livelihood Award with Walden Bello in 2003 for his outstanding effects in educating civil society about the effort corporate globalization and about the implementation of alternatives. He was involved in the struggle against the Marcos nuclear plant in 1978. Marcos dictatorship forced him to leave the Philippines after organizing a conference to expose the dangerous facts about the nuclear plant. After the fall of Marcos, Perlas was able to return to his origin. Furthermore, he continued his work against nuclear energy and launched the Center for Alternative Development Initiatives (CADI). He has developed a great passion, so he can open people's eyes. His main concern was to create a new awareness among the people.

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