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PBBM hailed for P8.4B Iloilo mega dam additional funding

ILOILO CITY (PIA) -- President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who also heads the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, has recently approved the additional funding worth P8.48 billion for the completion of the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project (JRMP II) in Calinog Iloilo. 

It is the biggest dam project outside Luzon and is considered one of the important agricultural infrastructure projects to be completed within the Marcos administration.

With this, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Region 6, the lead implementing agency for the JRMP II, along with former senator Franklin Drilon, thanked the President for his support and commitment to finishing the project, which is expected to boost economic opportunities not just in Iloilo but throughout the Panay Island.

Former senator Franklin Drilon (right), together with National Irrigation Administration (NIA)-6 acting manager Engr. Jonel Borres (left), and Daewoo project manager Yongoo Lee (middle) inspected the site of the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) on October 18, 2023 at Calinog, Iloilo province. (PIA Iloilo photo)

“Let me give our acknowledgment and appreciation for the support of the Marcos administration on the building and completion of this dam. We thank President Marcos for his support in prioritizing this vital infrastructure project, which holds the key to addressing the country’s food security concerns,” Drilon said during his visit to the JRMP II site on Wednesday, October 18.

Drilon, who primarily pushed for the realization of the project during his long stint at the Senate, also pointed out that the JRMP II, once completed, will be pivotal in realizing the government’s efforts to strengthen food security and curb inflation— just some of the main reasons why the contractor should hasten the completion of the dam.

“They committed to doubling their effort to complete this project as soon as pos-

sible because it is critical to achieving or overcoming the challenges that we face, particularly food security and addressing the inflation or the high prices,” Drilon said in a press conference.

According to Drilon, operating the dams is vital to addressing nutrition issues in the community, which is also one of the important agendas of the Marcos administration, and for Iloilo to regain the “rice granary” title.

“Iloilo used to be the rice granary of the country. Today, we no longer enjoy the status. But once the dams are completed and fully functional, from the present 100,040 metric tons of palay, it would increase to 300,000 metric tons per year. Therefore, not only will we be sufficient, but we will also be an exporting province,” he stressed.

NIA-6 acting manager and JRMP II project manager, Engr. Jonel B. Borres, on the other hand, said that they want to invite Marcos once the project is completed in December 2024, noting that the agency has already planned to construct a helipad in the area so that the President can easily visit the site.


NIA-6 data showed that the overall accomplishment of the JRMP II is already at 69.23 percent as of September 2023, noting that two out of the three dams are already substantially completed.

Borres said that the Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd, the contractor of the project, is working double time to finish the JRMP II construction in 2024 and will be partially operational by 2025.

He previously revealed that weather conditions hampered the continuous construction of the distribution canals going to the irrigation systems, “most of which are located in the new open areas, and the elevation is below the surface or ground level.”

Currently, the Jalaur High Dam, the reservoir dam of the project, which is ex-

JALAUR HIGH DAM. This reservoir dam of the JRMP II, which is projected to store around 250.70 million cubic meters of water, is already 106 meters high out of its structural height of 109 meters. (PIA Iloilo photo)

pected to store a volume of water estimated at 250.70 million cubic meters, is already 106 meters high out of its structural height of 109 meters. Located in Barangays Agcalaga and Alibunan in the Municipality of Calinog, the High Dam will ensure year-round irrigation water supply to 31,840 hectares of farmlands in the Province of Iloilo.

The Jalaur Afterbay Dam, which is the regulating dam of the project, is substantially completed at 38.5 meters high, while works are also ongoing in the towns of Calinog, Lambunao, Janiuay, and Cabatuan for the 80-kilometer High Line Canal, which will serve as a conveyance structure connecting the Jalaur Afterbay Dam to the main and lateral canals.

The Project Management Office (PMO), on the other hand, ensured the construction of the JRMP II Indigenous Peoples (IP) Housing is not being left behind, noting that the housing project, which will serve as the relocation site of the affected IP communities, is already 95 percent complete.

Meanwhile, the JRMP II is expected to provide irrigation to 31,840 hectares of farmland in Iloilo, generate 6.6 megawatts of hydroelectric power and 86 million liters per day of bulk water supply for the province and city of Iloilo, generate eco-cultural tourism opportunities, and mitigate flooding in Calinog and nearby towns once completed.

It is also projected to expand the production areas of sugarcane and other crops and will increase the annual production of rice in Iloilo to around 338,874 metric tons, which is 71.54 percent higher than its current production of 197,545 MT. (AAL/JNH/PIA Iloilo)

About the Author

John Noel Herrera

Information Officer

Region 6

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