National Irrigation Administration (NIA) chief Antonio S. Nangel has heeded requests of local officials as well as farmers groups to exempt local farmers, whose agricultural lands had been ravaged recently by twin typhoons "Pedring" and "Quiel," from paying irrigation service fees (ISF) this current cropping season.
Nangel said that there were already existing policies in place to exempt farm tillers from paying their ISFs during force majeure situations such as typhoons.
"Of course, we support their request from exemption from payment of the ISF," he said.
Nangel has direcyed Reynaldo Puno and Josephine Salazar, outgoing and incoming operations manager, respectively, of the Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation Systems (UPRIIS), the operator of the Pantabangan Dam, to validate the damage assessment report on ricelands in the province following the devastation wrought by typhoons "Pedring" and "Quiel" two weeks ago.
Immediately after the devastation caused by the twin typhoons, local officials led by Gov. Aurelio Umali, Vice Gov. Jose Gay Padiernos, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and the provincial chapter of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines led by its president, Peñaranda Mayor Ferdinand Abesamis, asked NIA not to collect ISFs from farmers following the trail of destruction left by the twin typhoons in the province where at least P2 billion worth of palay was damaged.