CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija – The National Irrigation Administration-Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System (NIA-UPRIIS) has exceeded its programmed service area this wet season, a ranking official said Wednesday.

NIA-UPRIIS department manager Rosalinda Bote said they scheduled 142,000 hectares to supply irrigation water but as of July 31, the agency has served a total of 145,000 hectares.

"Meron pa rin kaming additional kasi anticipated natin, yung mga rainfed areas ay nakasama na sa atin (We still have additional because we anticipated that those rainfed areas are included with us)," Bote said in an interview.

NIA-UPRIIS which operates Pantabangan Dam and other smaller dams, supplies irrigation water to farms in Nueva Ecija and portions of Bulacan, Pampanga and Tarlac.

Bote said their agency managed to efficiently program its activities with the continuous modernization of irrigation systems, particularly automation of their facilities that provide them with real-time data monitoring.

Meanwhile, she said, "Yung (The) modernization program of Central Office (NIA) kami ay (we are) the recipient of automation. So, automated na po ang ating Rizal Dam and ngayon ay nakalinya ang ating Atate Dam (So, our Rizal Dam is already automated and now, our Atate Dam is on the line-up)."

The automation, which clearly shows the input of water to impounding places, enables them to analyze on a real-time basis the required action in dam operation, she noted.

Bote added that the provision of an advanced communication system also enables her office to monitor rainfall in any specific place within the UPRIIS service area so they can readily cut off the release to maximize rainwater and save for the next season. (PNA)