Contract signing for P11.2-B Iloilo reservoir dam project set on Monday
The contract signing for the construction of the P11.2 billion Jalaur River Multipurpose Project Phase II (JRMP II) in Calinog, Iloilo is set for Monday, Senator Franklin Drilon said.
In a statement on Thursday, Drilon announced the signing between the National Irrigation Office (NIA) and the project’s contractor, Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd will be held at the NIA Building in Quezon City.
“This signals the start of the project which will bring back rice productivity in the Western Visayas region, spur the local economy and the eco-tourism industry, and increase employment opportunities, particularly in Iloilo,” Drilon said.
Aside from Drilon, who initiated the program in 2011, the event will be graced by officials of the NIA led by Administrator Ricardo Visaya and Region VI Director Gerardo Corsiga; and officials of the Korea Export-Import Bank (KEXIM) and Daewoo.
According to the senator, the project will improve the agricultural production in the region and once completed, “the first large-scale reservoir dam outside of Luzon will provide uninterrupted irrigation water supply to 32,000 hectares of farmland, benefit more than 783,000 farmers and increase annual production of rice to 300,000 metric tons from 140,000 in Iloilo.”
The project will also generate approximately 17,000 local jobs equivalent to P1.3 billion in basic wages per year, he added.
JRMP II includes the construction of 109-meter Jalaur high dam, 38.5-meter afterbay dam, 10-meter Alibunan catch dam, 80.74-kilometer high line canal; generation of new areas for irrigation; and rehabilitation of existing irrigation system.
It was first implemented by NIA in 1960s after the fourth Congress passed Republic Act 2651, which provides for the construction of the JRMP in Iloilo.
Its first phase was completed in 1980s but its second phase was derailed for over five decades.
Drilon said he is confident that the project will not suffer from any more delays given NIA and Daewoo’s commitment to fast track the implementation of the project.
It was the Korean government through its Export-Import Bank’s Economic Development Cooperation Fund which extended P8.95-billion as official development assistance to implement the project through Drilon’s initiatives. The government counterpart fund is P2.2 billion.
Drilon emphasized that the interest rate for JRMP II is the lowest the country can get at 0.15 percent compared to the loans being offered by China, which is three percent interest rate. /muf
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