New National Irrigation Administration Region 7 (NIA-7) director Engr. Ramon Bugacia who is based in Bohol said on Monday that farmers are no longer required to pay any amount for irrigation.
According to Bugacia, collection for irrigation service has been stopped after President Duterte proposed the implementation of a free irrigation scheme last year.
The initiative has been particularly beneficial to small-time farmers in improving their chances of growth with their livelihood, said Bugacia.
More development in irrigation services however is still needed including in Bohol which is the leading agricultural province in Central Visayas, he added.
The NIA official also explained that those who are still required to pay fees are under communal irrigation of associations.
But Bugacia also pointed out that those with the communal scheme are also paying lesser amounts for irrigation services.
According to Bugacia, fees have been slashed down to less than half of what was previously required by communal irrigation administrators.
Last year, a P2-billion budget was allocated for the government’s free irrigation project in 2017.
The government is mulling to increase the said allocation for next year to around P5 billion. (AD)