Farmers are organized into Irrigators Associations (IA) and strengthened through training activities to make them more effective partners of NIA in irrigation development and management.
An IA is a non-sectarian, non-stock, and non-profit organization of farmer-beneficiaries. The formation of an IA starts from the identification and listing of the individual farm lots and the potential beneficiaries who are later on grouped according to hydrologic boundaries and layout of the water distribution system.
The success of PAP in the communal systems led NIA to implement the Management Turnover Program (MTP) and, recently, the Irrigation Management Transfer (IMT) Program in the NIS. Under both programs, NIA entrusts or passes on to farmers, through the IA, the responsibility of managing part or the whole system, retaining only O&M of major facilities. In the future, as farmers' capability is developed, IA will be commensurately entrusted bigger responsibilities. The contract arrangements under MTP cover the following:
1. Under a Maintenance Contract, the IAs undertake routine maintenance works of a certain length of the irrigation canal system. They are paid P1,400 per month for satisfactory maintenance of 3.5 kilometers (km) of canals (if unlined) and 7.0 km (if lined).
2. With a Systems Operations and Irrigation Service Fee (ISF) Collection Contract, the IAs undertake systems operations of a portion of a system and collection of ISF from its members. They get incentives for assisting NIA in these activities based on the amount of ISF collected.
3. IAs are entitled to a minimum of two percent of their collection if they attain at least 51 percent collection and a maximum of 15 percent for 91-100 percent collection of current accounts. In addition, they are entitled to two percent of collections from new back accounts and 25 percent from old back accounts.
4. Under complete turnover, the management of the whole or part of an irrigation system is fully turned over to the IAs. The IAs will amortize the investment and rehabilitation costs of the facilities turned over to them for a period not exceeding 50 years.