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Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol meets with Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) officials on Tuesday (November 12) to address the need for sustainable water to the remote villages in Mindanao.

DAVAO CITY – Various government agencies will launch the Mindanao Water Supply and Irrigation Systems Project in this city on December 6.

Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) in partnership with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), and selected Mindanao Local Government Units (LGUs) will work for the said project.

“We want our LGUs to access funding for the establishment of solar water supply and irrigation systems not only to provide potable water for their remote villages, but also to prepare them for the expected El Niño next year,” said MinDA Secretary Manny Piñol.

Piñol said the project aims to provide sources of safe drinking water for the off-grid villages in Mindanao and Palawan, while at the same time give farmers access to irrigation water for their agricultural crops particularly rice.

“We cannot let the 2,000 barangays in Mindanao to still live without safe sources of drinking water. More so we have to assist LGUs to irrigate their 100,000 hectares of rice farms to counter the El Niño next year,” he emphasized.

The Solar Powered Irrigation System (SPIS) is a brainchild initiative of Secretary Piñol during his stint as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA), which has been proven to increase farmers productivity, allowing them to plant rice twice a year and increase their yield due to sufficient water supply.

“Since we cannot grant the program fully free to the farmers, we can secure the help of DBP by providing loan assistance with significant low interest through their LGUs,” added the Secretary.

Piñol already meet with DBP President Emmanuel Barbosa to ensure that LGUs with small Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) shares will be given lower interest rates. DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano also expressed his interest to MinDA to provide counterpart support for the LGUs.

The governors and mayors from Mindanao and Palawan are expected to witness the said launching.

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