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P5-B irrigation project to benefit 4,000 farmers in North Cotabato

THE NORTH Cotabato provincial government, together with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), inaugurated its P5.1 billion project called the Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project (MMIP) Stage II, located in Barangay Bagoinged, Pikit, on Apr. 30. 

The MMIP II will cover 9,528 hectares of agricultural land in the municipalities of Pikit, Aleosan, Pangalungan from North Cotabato province, and Datu Montawal in Maguindanao del Sur under the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) with water source from Maridagao river. The project will also benefit 4,043 farmers. 

The inauguration ceremony was led by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., as well as graced by North Cotabato governor Emmylou Talino-Mendoza, Rep. Samantha Taliño Santos, and NIA administrator Engr. Eduardo Guillen. 

President Marcos, in his speech, said the MMIP II will support the administration’s efforts to advance democracy and peace in conflict areas and provide water to the provinces of Cotabato and Maguindanao’s agricultural sectors.

“With this irrigation project, the land will become a fertile field of grain. It will bring many bountiful harvests, nourish many families, and ensure their children will get their fair share of progress. It will put food on their plates, so that people may share their blessings at the table of peace,” the President said.

He added that residents need to take care of the “people-owned infrastructure” to last the next generations. 

In an interview, NIA administrator Guillen said the project will help the farmers boost their agricultural productivity, making their harvest abundant amid the prevailing El Niño phenomenon.

“This is what they need as the number one problem in agriculture is low productivity. This irrigation facility will help improve peace and order, the farmers’ lives, and food security,” he said.

Meanwhile, Soliman Udasan, treasurer of the Gli-Gli Lateral H and Lateral H2 IA Inc. and one of the farmer-beneficiaries, said the project will create a huge impact on them “as this will give hope and help uplift their lives through increasing their income.”

Mendoza also emphasized how the irrigation project will help maintain peace and order in Cotabato.

“This will pave the way for us to strengthen and continue our progress in achieving peace and order here in the province, especially in the town of Pikit,” Mendoza said. 

Also present were Special Assistant to the President Anton Lagdameo, Presidential Assistant for Eastern Mindanao Leo Tereso Magno, and DILG Sec. Benhur Abalos Jr. along with other national and local officials. 


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