Duterte signs Free Irrigation Service Act
President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law Republic Act No. 10969, or the Free Irrigation Service Act.
Duterte, on February 2, signed the measure, which waives irrigation fees for farmers who owns eight hectares of land or less.
“Upon the effectivity of this Act, all farmers with landholdings of eight (8) hectares and below are hereby exempted from paying irrigation service fees (ISF) for water derived from national irrigation systems (NIS) and communal irrigation systems (CIS),” the law stated.
The law also condoned unpaid irrigation fees of farmers to the National Irrigation Authority (NIA).
According to the law, “all unpaid ISF and the corresponding penalties of farmers with eight (8) hectares and below to NIA, and all loans, past due accounts and the corresponding interests and penalties of IAs to NIA, are hereby condoned and written off from the books of NIA.”
The law further said that “the State affirms its commitment to contribute to the lowering of the cost of production through the provision of free irrigation service, and further relieve the farmers and their irrigators associations from the burden and consequence of unpaid irrigation service fees.”
The free irrigation law was one of the campaign promises of Mr. Duterte. /kga
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