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DA chief orders review of Solar Powered Irrigation Projects

Agriculture secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel, Jr. has ordered a thorough review of the Department of Agriculture’s Solar-Powered Irrigation System (SPIS) Projects following reports that some units have either been neglected or non-operational.

Sec. Tiu Laurel ordered DA’s Regional Executive Directors (REDs) to conduct the review with assistance from the private sector led by former agriculture secretary Manny Pinol.

The DA chief issued the directive following Pinol’s Facebook post about an SPIS in Mlang, Cotabato that was completed in 2020 but was not turned over to farmer beneficiaries by DA Regional Office 12.

To ensure transparency, Sec. Tiu Laurel instructed the DA REDs to coordinate with former Sec. Pinol in their SPIS review and assessment which covers:

• SPIS units which are fully functional and their impact on increasing rice productivity, including contributing factors to their successful operations;

• Non-working SPIS units and the reasons behind their failure; and

• Technical assessment of existing SPIS units, including recommendations on how to improve the program.

Based on DA records, more than 200 SPIS units were constructed nationwide since its adoption as a DA banner program. #

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