Tulfo wants contractors' names in delayed irrigation project in Tarlac | Inquirer News

Tulfo wants contractors’ names in delayed irrigation project in Tarlac

By: - Reporter / @FArgosinoINQ
/ 05:10 PM August 02, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Raffy Tulfo on Wednesday demanded the list of contractors involved with the National Irrigation and Administration’s (NIA) over P12 billion irrigation project in Tarlac province, which was supposed to be completed last 2018.

Tulfo was referring to the Balog-Balog Dam and irrigation project in San Jose, Tarlac – a project of NIA that was delayed due to supposed irregularities that the senator presented before the Senate blue ribbon committee.

“Ayan ang itsura ng 12 billion pesos na proyekto na hanggang ngayon ay nakatiwangwang. Ang nakakatakot pa dyan ay ginagastusan ito ng 50 million a year for repair and maintenance hindi pa nga tapos and yet 50 million pesos para sa maintenance. Anong i-ma-maintain: ang mga bulsa?” Tulfo said during the hearing.


(That’s what the 12 billion pesos project looks like now. It has been abandoned until now. What’s scarier is that repair and maintenance costs P50 million per year. What are we even maintaining? Their pockets?)


“Ang hilingin natin magprovide sa atin ng listahan ng contractors sa Balog-Balog. Magkano ang napunta sa kanila at ano ng status ng project? Sino ang in charge sa project na ‘yon lahat po ng listahan para makasuhan at we will make sure na dapat may makulong,” the senator demanded.

(We ask the NIA to provide us with a list of contractors in Balog-Balog. How much did they get, and what is the project’s status? Those who are in charge of the project must be listed down so we can make sure those accountable would be charged and jailed.)

Tulfo’s presentation revealed that the multipurpose project had been delayed for almost five decades since the administration of former President Corazon Aquino in the ’90s.

According to the senator, NIA proposed to implement the project under two phases in 1992 — Phase 1 covers 12,475 hectares, while Phase 2 was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) in 2015.

From 2013 to 2022, the national government has allocated billions of funds for the project’s completion with the goal to provide “year-round irrigation to 34,410 hectares of agricultural land in 10 municipalities benefitting 23,000 farmers” once finished. But Tulfo lamented that only approximately 20 percent of the project had been completed.

In response, NIA Acting Administrator Engineer Eduardo Guillen, who was appointed last December 2022, said that the project was terminated by its previous contractor. They are now coordinating with Neda for the changes in its scope of work and resumption.


“Malapit na naman pong ipa-rebuild ang target namin mga October siguro,” Guillen said, adding that the remaining P6.1 billion fund for the project would be sufficient for its completion until the target year 2027.

(Our target is to rebuild this soon, probably around October.)

The NIA chief likewise clarified that the P50 million fund for maintenance and repair was used for “upkeeping” the Balog-Balog Dam project’s Phase 1.

Other delayed projects

Aside from the Balog-Balog Dam and irrigation project, Tulfo also revealed thirteen other projects that were reportedly delayed and abandoned.

Among them were the Bulo Small Reservoir Irrigation Project in Bulacan, which started last 2015 with a fund allocation amounting to P990 million; Marimay Project, with a P50 million fund allocation; and the Dumuloc Project in Pangasinan, with a P800 million budget.

Below is the list of nine other projects and their respective budgets, per the senator:

  • Bagtingon Project (P400 million)
  • Macalelon Project (P775 million)
  • Barbar Project (P631 million)
  • Bayaoas Project (P746 million)
  • Upper Tabuating (P878 million)
  • Balbalungao Project (P1.3 billion budget with P100 million annual maintenance budget)
  • Cabano Project (P553 million)
  • Tulunan Project (P700 million)
  • Sulvec Ilocos Norte Project (P750 million)

From 2017 to 2022, Tulfo’s report showed that 121 billion has been allocated for these projects, among many others.

“For the period of 2008 to 2021 [these projects] posted a growth of 16.66 percent in irrigation development. Based on this trend, it will take another 30 years to fully develop the remaining estimated potential irrigable area,” the senator’s report said.


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