Lawmakers Rep. Emil Ong (First District) and Harlene Abayon (Second District) of Norther Samar took turns lambasting an inutile P3-billion irrigation project funded by the provincial government via a Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) loan.
Ong and Abayon in a press conference said P2 billion had been spent for the irrigation project intended for 4,000 hectares of farmlands in the province. The initial payment nearly ate up the entire fund granted in 2010 during the term of Rep. Raul Daza. The fund was passed to his heir Gov. Paul Daza.
The irrigation project to-date only covers two hectares of land, according to Ong and Abayon.
They said the project was started in 2005 by the Hanjin Con-struction Co. and was tagged as Help Catubig Agricultural Ad-vancement Program (HCAAP) for some 5,000 hectares of farmlands covering the towns of Las Navas and Catubig.
Banayon added that Northern Samar National Irrigation Authority (NIA) Director Ama-deo Montejo told them that in October 2012 the project was taken over by their national office from the provincial government under Daza.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala was said to be disgusted over the outcome of project, which, it turned out needs another P2 billion to complete.
Newly installed Gov. Jose Jun Ong sought the attention of Alcala and new NIA administrator Claro Maranan to prioritize the stalled HCAAP irrigation project.
Abayon and Ong challenged the national government to investigate the likely anomalies and those responsible to be made accountable.