By Juan Escandor Jr.
NAGA CITY---The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) is reshuffling provincial and regional managers as part of the on-going organizational reforms, a top official of the agency told the Bicol Mail.
NIA Administrator Ricardo Visaya said the move to reshuffle managers at the regional and provincial levels aims to avoid over-familiarity with their present assignments that results in low productivity.
Visaya said part of the reason to reshuffle the managers of NIA pertains to the issue of graft and corruption in the agency.
He said that on the regional level, the reshuffle had been completed with Romeo Lopez now assigned as the regional manager of NIA in Bicol who replaced Vicente Vicmodo.
Visaya also said he is employing a new tack in the project implementation of NIA projects wherein he targets to involve local government officials.
He said he recognizes the shortcomings of some NIA personnel, hence he ordered them to closely coordinate with local officials to strengthen collaboration.
Visaya said that since several local officials are complaining that they are not informed of the NIA projects, the NIA personnel should conduct regular fora and consultations with stakeholders.
“Even though it is not required [to conduct regular fora] in the project implementation, this will enhance the implementation of NIA projects and bring the agency closer to the stakeholders,” he said.
He said since the implementation of NIA projects are replete with problems, the regular conduct of forum that involves the farmers and local officials will help.
Visaya, who retired from the military service as the first Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines under the Duterte administration, has vowed to rid NIA of graft and corruption.
After his appointment as NIA administrator in June last year, he revealed that “the first issue why I was designated by the President as the administrator is the issue of graft and corruption that reached him.”
“My first priority is the eradication of graft and corruption,” Visaya stressed.
In March last year, Peter Laviña, long-time associate of President Duterte, quit his post as NIA administrator on the issue that he received cash from contractors. Laviña denied the allegation as he said he was quietly leaving the government to spare the President from embarrassment.