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Status and Performance of DA-Procured STW Drilling Rigs

 Arthur L. Fajardo1, Antonio Gabino P. Sobremisana2, Manolo G. Villano3 and Wilfredo P. David4




The Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997 (RA 8435), mandated a shift toward cost effective and sustainable irrigation technologies, and one of these is the shallow tubewell.  The economic attractiveness of STWs (shallow tubewells) and low level of utilization of shallow aquifer resources offer the best opportunities for Philippine agriculture. A survey was conducted to determine the status and evaluate the performance of drilling rigs distributed to different RFUs (Regional Field Units) to facilitate installation of STWs distributed by the Department of Agriculture.  The survey covered a total of nine (9) regions, including CAR, Regions I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, and XIII with 255 units visited and the operators interviewed.

The DA had procured the following drilling rig models: IRRI, Modified IRRI, KDR-1 and KDR-2 which were all direct-circulation hydraulic rotary type.  From the 255 units visited, 8 % (20) were maintained and supervised by regional field units; 55 % (141) were issued to Local Government Units; 23 % (58) were issued to farmer’s cooperatives; 14 % (36) were issued to other entities such as National Irrigation Administration (NIA), farmer’s associations or groups, local drillers, and irrigators association. 

The total number of wells drilled by all the rigs covered in the survey was 8,160 with an average of 38 wells drilled per all rig.  Based from the survey, 70% (175) were still functional while 30% (80) were considered as non-functional.  The average drilling cost charged was Php 6,968.  Based from the results of the survey, it could be noted that the respective agencies have the necessary hardware to facilitate installation of STWs.  Support in terms of proper maintenance and training on proper well drilling and installation would be needed to sustain operations of the drilling rigs.



1 Assistant Professor, Agricultural Machinery Division (AMD), Institute of Agricultural Engineering (IAE), College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology (CEAT), University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB); 2Assistant Professor, Land and Water Resources Division (LWRD), IAE, CEAT, UPLB;  3Associate Professor, LWRD, IAE, CEAT, UPLB; 4Retired Professor, LWRD, IAE, CEAT, UPLB.