Press Release
November 26, 2018

Drilon: Korean EXIM bank gives green light to P11.2-B Jalaur

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon on Monday announced that the Korea Export-Import Bank has given its concurrence on the contract agreement between the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd. for the construction of the P11.2-billion Jalaur River Multi-purpose Project Phase II (JRMP II).

"This is an early Christmas gift for Ilonggos. They believe in this project and have been very vocal in their support for this significant undertaking," Drilon said.

"The long wait is over. Despite the delays, we will soon see one of the biggest dams in the country being constructed right in Iloilo," he said, adding, "this project will beneift our economy and eco-tourism industry, and generate jobs for our kasimanwa."

Drilon said that NIA will finalize the schedule for the project groundbreaking.

In a letter sent to NIA Administrator Ricardo Visaya last November 19, Yang Hye-Young, director of Asia Team 2 of the KEXIM bank, said that the contract was concurred in by KEXIM bank .

"We kindlly notify you that the subject contract has been approved by us in accordance with Section 6.03 of the General Terms and Conditions Applicable to EDCF Loan Agreement," according to the letter.

The letter aslo requested NIA for its "continuous support for the monitoring of environment and social requirements during the construction phase of the project."

It also said that the bank "is "looking forward to smooth and successful implementation of the project."

It was Drilon who initiated the project in April 2011 when he met with the Korean government for the funding requirement.

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 24,000 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.

Drilon said that agriculture in Western Visayas has suffered a decline for the past years, citing the contribution of agriculture (in real terms) to the gross regional domestic output of Western Visayas on a downward trend from 14.1 percent in 2010 to a negative 3.3 percent in 2013 brought about by a sharp decrease in sugarcane and palayproduction.

JRMP II 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.

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