Agri chief orders review of solar-powered irrigation projects

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

February 8, 2024, 12:20 am

<p>Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu-Laurel <em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu-Laurel (PNA file photo)

MANILA – Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu-Laurel has ordered a “thorough” review of the Solar-Powered Irrigation System (SPIS) projects.

This was after reports of neglected and non-operational units reached the Department of Agriculture (DA).

In a news release on Wednesday, the DA said former Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol posted on his Facebook account about an SPIS in Mlang, Cotabato that was completed in 2020 but was not turned over to farmer beneficiaries by DA 12 (Soccsksargen).

Tiu-Laurel instructed the regional executive directors to coordinate with Piñol as they assess the SPIS units nationwide to ensure transparency.

The units will be reviewed whether they are fully functional and have an impact on increasing rice productivity, including contributing factors to their successful operations.

On the other hand, non-working units will be investigated as to why they failed.

Additionally, existing units would undergo technical assessment, including recommendations on how to improve the program.

The DA’s records show that more than 200 SPIS units were constructed since it was adopted as a DA banner program. (PNA)