A day after scolding the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), President Benigno Aquino 3rd ordered an investigation to find out why the agency failed to meet its goals.
In a press conference, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the explanation given by NIA chief Antonio Nangel is “not acceptable.”
Nangel earlier said a powerful storm that recently hit Mindanao affected the agency’s irrigation efforts.
“We heard that explanation,” Lacierda said. “An explanation that the typhoon occurred in December which caused the decrease in their accomplishment is not acceptable because it happened only in one month, December.”
“So the rest of the year, 11 months, there should have been substantial work done in the areas wherever the projects are located. So we’re verifying the explanation of the administrator because he mentioned that Mindanao, as a whole, was affected by typhoon Pablo. We very well know that it affected primarily Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental. So that’s why that is being investigated,” he added.
On Tuesday, the President scolded the agency during its 50th anniversary celebration for its failure to irrigate 81,170 hectares of farmlands in 2012, as well as missing their target in 2011 under the Irrigation Services Development Program.
Lacierda said the President was just being frank when he criticized the agency.
“This is not the first time he has done it. The President is always frank and candid with respect to an agency’s accomplishments or non-accomplishments. From the very start, the President has said that we have six years to deliver our commitments and he expects every agency to perform their mandate to their utmost best,” he explained.
Catherine S. Valente