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BSWM holds the National SWISA Congress

By Pett P. Ocampo - Information Officer
November 03, 2017

The Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) under the leadership of OIC-Director Angel Enriquez, held this years’ National Small Water Irrigation System Association (SWISA) Congress at the Lima Park Hotel in Malvar, Batangas on October 25-27, 2017. With Dir. Enriquez are Engr. Teresita Sandoval, Chief of the Water Resources Management Division who organized the event and DA Regional Executive Director for Region IV-A Engr. Arnel V. De Mesa. Engr. Ariel T. Cayanan, DA Undersecretary for Field Operations attended on behalf of DA Sec. Emmanuel F. Piňol and delivered the Keynote Message.

Since the 1980’s, there have been existing associations of farmers benefiting from the BSWM’s Small Scale Irrigation Projects (SSIPs) but it was only in 2012 when a national federation, which acts as mother organization for all associations benefiting from SSIPs in the region, was formally organized and was named Small Water Irrigation System Association or SWISA Federation of the Philippines, Inc. Since then, the SWISA have been recognized as a partner association of the DA and BSWM in its projects and programs.

Five years after its organization, the National SWISA is convened to review its status and accomplishments, resolve existing issues that hamper its development and determine valuable inputs to policy and program recommendations to achieve agricultural productivity and competitiveness. There are also several technological improvements, institutional changes and emerging issues that SWISA members need to be informed and be aware of their sustained operations.

In the annual Congress, the SWISA is updated of the current policies, programs, projects and other initiatives of the DA and other government agencies like the National Water Regulation Board (NWRB) that could assist them in their agricultural production and present current status of the National and Regional SWISA Federation. Accomplishments and existing projects and activities and their 2018 plans and programs were also reported. Issues, concerns, needs, suggestions and recommendations were aired out and discussed thoroughly by the SWISA during the interaction with Usec Cayanan. Usec Cayanan underscored that the DA will try hard to address all their issues and suggestions. Plans and protocols were laid out that will serve as guide for the different SWISAs nationwide in the development of appropriate measures for their sustainability and strategies to improve the operation and condition of the National and Regional SWISA Federation.

Sworn in by Usec Cayanan and Dir. Enriquez are the newly elected officers and board of trustees of the SWISA Federation of the Phils., Inc. for the year 2017 to 2019. Elected were the following:

President: Simeon P. Taruc, Region II
Vice President: Alexander P. Lanaria, CARAGA
Secretary: Marigrace T. Cariaga, Region II
Treasurer: Diark L. Diano, Region XI
Auditor: Ramon R. Abad, Region I

The ten Board of Trustees are Mr. Adolfo S. Bravo from CAR, Mr. Reynaldo C. Isidro from Region III, Mr. Edwin P. Escamillas from Region 4-A, Mr. Solomon T. Gregorio from Region 4-B, Mr. Rolando L. Ollorga from Region 5, Mr. Mabini B. Besiño from Region 6, Ms. Nida C. Lluvido from Region 7, Mr. Domingo C. Deluta from Region 8, Mr. Enrique C. Montano from Region9, and Mr. Robinhood D. Rufino from Region 10.

Success stories from the 3 Outstanding SWISA officers of the GAWAD SAKA 2016 were also presented in the person of by Mr. John Serrano, Manager of Rang-ay Ti Pussian Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative of Pussian, Lacala, Cagayan; Ms Nida C. Lluvido, Regional President of Lamak Irrigators Association, San Jose, Mabini, Bohol; and Mr. Rolan L. Nogalada, President of the San Jose Norala Communal Irrigators Association, Inc of San Jose, Norala, South Cotabato.

A total of 450 participants gathered and attended the Congress represented by the DA-RFO Rice Program Regional Focals and Regional Agriculture Engineer Chiefs and the Presidents of SWISAs all from CAR to ARMM.

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