As a traditional activity of NIA Region 3, the once a year Operation: Canal Maintenance Visitation was conducted by the key personnel in the region. The objective of the activity is to find out which system/IMO is complying for the cleanliness and maintenance of the irrigation canals and its appurtenant facilities. Though it turned out to be a competition, the activity became a challenge to all field personnel concerned.

The visitation focus not only in the competition, but it is also one way to show and adopt different ways and strategies on how to properly maintain the irrigation services as a whole. Also, to collectively assess the effort exerted by each concerned officials in maintaining the cleanliness and orderliness in conveying irrigation water down to the farthest paddy of the system service area.

The Pampanga-Bataan IMO was the first in the list for condemnation. The Pampanga Delta RIS (PADRIS), covering the western municipalities of Pampanga was the first system visited by not less than 30 key personnel of the regionand three (3) Irrigation Management Offices including the 6-man evaluating committee followed by the provinces’ eastern portion which includes the area of Bataan and Porac-Gumain RIS.

Fair enough for the effort of the men and women of Bulacan-Aurora-Nueva Ecija (BANE) IMO. The endeavor to clean and maintain the irrigation facilities in the area of Bulacan and likewise in Aurora was visual. No one is particular, in terms of diligence on how to show the maintenance is being done.

The Tarlac-Zambales IMO was also not to beat. The cleanliness of its water conveyors and appurtenant facilities is astonishing. In addition, the unique preparations of the Irrigators Associations (IA) in the area of Bucao RIS welcoming the visiting forces. The first of each kind as to say. Though it is not the biggest issue where to depend the evaluation and rating for the competition.

But, in every competition a winner and a champion must emerge. The evaluation and assessment is now a burden to the committee. It would be a hard decision to make but still, that must be fair and just for each and every contestant.

The judgment for the winning System/IMO shall be announced in the coming NIA Region 3 Christmas Party celebration in December of this year.

by Eliseo V. Bitangcol