Manila, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is putting in P30 million to restore the battered Ifugao Rice Terraces to its former glory. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala made the commitment during a November 25 meeting with Ifugao officials and other leaders at the Banaue Hotel in Ifugao.
Alcala said the rice terraces are a source of pride for the entire Filipino people, the reason it must be preserved at any cost. It is considered as a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site and has been declared by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as a Globally-Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS).
Alcala revealed that the P30 million is an initial amount, with P10 million coming from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) for the repair of the damaged portions and the enhancement of the irrigation systems for the terraces in Batad, Ifugao. The remainder will come from the National Rice Program for the reinforcement and upgrade of similar terraces in four other sites. (Marvyn N. Benaning)