IPs OK Dam Project - NIA-6

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo - Indigenous people (IP) here are supportive of the P11.2-billion Jalaur River Multipurpose Project-Stage II (JRMP II), according to National Irrigation Administration-Region 6 supervising institutional development officer Ruth Cely Jamelo.

Jamelo made this pronouncement during a project update meeting attended by Ilonggo Senator Franklin Drilon, Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala, and NIA-6 regional director Gerardo Corsiga.

Facilitated by Drilon, the second phase of the project will construct a storage and reservoir dam along Jalaur River in the central Iloilo town of Calinog.

Since last year, an activist group has claimed that the JRMP II will displace the majority of IPs living in the area and will have an adverse affect on their livelihoods.

''They now understand the sincerity of the project,'' Jamelo claimed after conducting dialogues with the IP community and village chiefs since July.

The JRMP II will irrigate 32,000 hectares of farmland and boost rice production in Iloilo province, considered one of the country's top rice producers.

NIA-6 said the JRMP II will also benefit some 783,000 farm workers, generate employment for 17,000 workers or an equivalent of P1.3 billion in basic wages annually, build a 6.6-megawatt hyrdoelectric power plant, and augment bulk water supply for the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD).

The project has a P8.9-billion funding from the South Korea Economic Development Cooperation Fund , along with P2.3billion from government.

Foto: Iloilo Mega Dam Project Discussed - Ilonggo Senator Franklin Drilon and Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala discusses updates on the P11.2 billion Jalaur River Multipurpose Project-Stage II (JRMP II) during a recent meeting in Iloilo City. Drilon has helped in facilitating the realization of the project. (Tara Yap)