A well-governed, properly targeted, and adequately funded irrigation development program is essential in achieving agricultural productivity, which is crucial especially at a time when food security is being threatened by rising food prices and farm inputs. A book assessing the country’s irrigation development program and published by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) recently caught the eye of the country’s highest recognition and advisory body on science and technology, given its important scientific and technical contribution and significance to agricultural policy. 

The National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) bestowed the 2022 Outstanding Book Award on Revitalizing Philippine Irrigation: A Systems and Governance Assessment for the 21st Century, released by PIDS in January 2021.

A synthesis of the Institute’s evaluation of the irrigation program that spanned several phases, the book provides a comprehensive assessment of the country’s irrigation sector, encompassing national and communal systems and the entire project cycle from planning to implementation, operations, monitoring, and evaluation. It examines performance, design, management, and governance issues and compares the program benefits with program costs. It also offers recommendations regarding the ongoing implementation of the irrigation development program.

Roehlano Briones, a senior research fellow at PIDS whose expertise is agricultural policy, edited the book. A multidisciplinary team of experts in agricultural economics, engineering, and governance conducted the different aspects of the evaluation and contributed chapters. 

A copy of the book is publicly accessible and downloadable for free from the following link: https://www.pids.gov.ph/publication/books/revitalizing-philippine-irrigation-a-systems-and-governance-assessment-for-the-21st-century.

The outstanding book award is the third for PIDS. The first was in 1997 for Poverty, Growth, and the Fiscal Crisis (https://www.pids.gov.ph/publication/books/poverty-growth-and-the-fiscal-crisis), authored by a group of economists headed by Emannuel de Dios. The second was in 2007 for Winning the War (https://www.pids.gov.ph/publication/books/winning-the-water-war-watersheds-water-policies-and-water-institutions), edited by Agnes Rola, Herminia Francisco, and Jennifer Liguton. ###

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