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PN 2019-07: Issues on Communal Irrigation Systems in the Philippines

Despite massive efforts and funding to support irrigation development, the increase in irrigated areas has been minimal in the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao. To expand the irrigation base, new irrigable areas may be served by small-scale systems, such as the communal irrigation systems (CIS). This Policy Note presents an assessment of select CIS in the Philippines. Among others, it finds that several technical problems confront the performance of CIS. These include the frequent delays and inequitable water flow distribution, as well as CIS investments that do not also take into account the recurrent costs associated with operation and maintenance activities of dams and control systems. On the issue of water distribution, the study recommends the concerted effort on the part of concerned government agencies and even the academe to identify potential sites for diversion dams and storage reservoirs. It also calls for the revival of the shelved proposal for the institution of the National Water Resources Management Office under the Office of the President. In terms of the issues concerning investments, the study urges the government to focus on the improvement of planning and budgeting of the operation and maintenance activities of CIS.

Philippine Institute for Development Studies
Authors Keywords
Luyun, Roger A. Jr.; Elazegui, Dulce D. ; irrigation; irrigation development; communal irrigation systems; water distribution; small-scale systems;
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