RPMC2 visits two ongoing irrigation facilities funded by World Bank in Cagayan and Isabela

As an offshoot of a Problem-Solving Session on major projects experiencing implementation problem held on March 14, 2017, the RDC2-Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) conducted monitoring visits to vital irrigation projects located in Cagayan and Isabela on September 28-29, 2017.

The RPMC-Project Monitoring Team (RPMC-PMT) headed to the Zinundungan River Irrigation System (ZRIS) in Lasam, Cagayan, one of the sixteen (16) irrigation projects under the Participatory Irrigation Development Project (PIDP) funded by the World Bank.

The rehabilitation, restoration and extension of ZRIS was undertaken by the Markbilt Construction as the sole contractor of the project.  The NIA reported during the March 14, 2017 Problem-Solving Session that the contract was terminated on January 24, 2017 due to recurring negative slippages despite several notices. Markbilt Construction failed to comply with its contractual obligation to finish the project. Minimal accomplishments were done due to the shortage of construction materials, lack of equipment of the contractor and limited technical staff to supervise project activities. It was also reported that the project was re-bidded and the Notice to Proceed (NTP) was for issuance to new contractors in October 2017.

It was then a herculean task for the monitoring team to assess what went wrong in the implementation of the ZRIS project and to validate the extent of accomplishment in the terminated contract. The team was apprised during the visit that slow negotiations on right-of-way and the incapacity of the contractor contributed much to the delay and eventual termination of the project. Markbilt Construction was assessed by NIA to be inexperienced on construction of irrigation projects since most of their completed projects were roads and bridges. In addition, the said contractor is based outside Region 2 which made it difficult for them to mobilize the necessary equipments and manpower.

As of the visit, the rehabilitation, restoration and extension of ZRIS are 42% completed. Markbilt Construction was able to complete the construction of the diversion dam, spurdike and portions of canal structures. Because of the appeal of the farmer-beneficiaries for the completion of the project, the Philippine Government though the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) will continue the remaining works to complete the project. The project was re-bidded and will be implemented in three packages to be carried out by local contractors, namely ASC Construction based in Tuguegarao City (2 packages) and FBS Engineering and Construction from Gattaran, Cagayan (1 package).

Once completed, the ZRIS is expected to irrigate a total of 3,200 hectares covering 26 barangays in Lasam, Cagayan, which will contribute additional palay production of 8,319 metric tons per annum.

On the other hand, the recently completed rehabilitation and extension project at the Mallig River Irrigation System (Mallig RIS) was also visited by the team. The PIDP component of this project had experienced bottleneck along its implementation period from March 14, 2013 to January 3, 2017 and took 1,391 calendar days to be completed. The delay was due mainly to the intermittent construction activities because of ongoing farming operation in the project sites.

Several portions of completed activities funded under various sources were also shown to the PMT, such as the additional height of dam, gabion type protection, and repair of sluice gate, also funded under PIDP; and the concrete canal linings, structures, and canalization works funded under the Rehabilitation and Restoration of Existing National Irrigation Systems (RRENIS). The PMT also witnessed the completed Canalization works, canal structures, and service road funded under the NIS Extension; canal lining at Lateral A under the Rehabilitation and Restoration of National Irrigation System (RRNIS); and slope protection (coconet with vetiver grass) funded under the Coconet Slope Protection of NIS.

The construction of canal, canal lining and canal structures under RRNIS 2017 were all ongoing at the time of visit  including the repair of a portion of the Casili Dam, downstream protection dike, Mallig Dam main canal eroded embankment, and NIA-Mallig RIS office building which were damaged during the onslaught of STY Lawin.  The repairs of the foregoing components were funded under the Quick Response Fund (QRF).

The MARIS project now irrigates 2,741 hectares, contributing additional palay production of 1,512 metric tons per annum and will benefit around 1,552 farmers in Mallig, Isabela.

Aside from the two large irrigation projects visited, two other important projects that incurred high negative slippages as of the end of second quarter were validated by the PMT. The Manano II Small Water Impounding Project (SWIP) in Mallig, Isabela was substantially completed with a physical accomplishment of 99% as of the PMT visit.  Remaining works include the sodding along the dam embankment to prevent soil erosion. The project is set to be turned-over to an irrigators’ association which was yet to be organized. The project is targeted to be completed before September 2017 ends.  The Manano II SWIP in Mallig, Isabela will provide supplemental irrigation in 80 hectares of rain-fed rice-based areas and will benefit 61 farmer-beneficiaries.

The PMT dropped by at the ongoing construction of the OPD Ward at the Lasam Rural Health Unit in Lasam, Cagayan. This project amounts to P3 Million funded under the Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) and jointly implemented by the DOH and the Municipal Government of Lasam.

Project construction was able to catch up with implementation targets as the project attained 94% physical accomplishment as of the project visit, from its -28.97% physical slippage as of June 30, 2017. Installation of doors, tiling, and painting are some of the ongoing activities during the visit. The project is expected to be completed and ready for turnover in October 2017.

The health facility in this part of the region will help improve the delivery of basic health services and will decongest end-referral hospitals such as the Lasam District Hospital.

The field monitoring visit is a regular activity of the RPMC to monitor and validate the status of implementation of priority programs and projects in the region enrolled in the Regional Project Monitoring and Evaluation System (RPMES). The System mainly aims to facilitate the smooth implementation of programs and project in the region and to ensure that project objectives are achieved and intended recipients are benefited. The RPMC-PMT was composed of officials and representatives from NEDA, DBM, DILG, OP-PMS, PIA, and Private Sector Representatives.

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Regional Development Council 02
Regional Project Monitoring and Evaluation System