President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act No. 10969 or the Free Irrigation Service (FIS) Act on February 2.
This law exempts farmer with only eight and below hectares of land to pay the irrigation service fees (ISF) for water derived from national irrigation system (NIS) and communal irrigation systems administered by National Irrigation Administration and other government agencies.
This law also condones unpaid irrigations fees and corresponding penalties of farmers with landholdings of 8 and below hectares.
“The State shall also ensure that vital support services are made available, particularly irrigation service, through the continued construction, repair and maintenance of necessary irrigation facilities, to increase production of agricultural crops, encourage productivity, and increase the incomes of farmers,” says in Republic Act No. 10969.
“Towards this end, the State affirms its commitment to contribute to the lowering of the cost of production through the provision of free irrigation service, and further relieve the farmers and their irrigators associations from the burden and consequence of unpaid irrigation service fees,” it added.