House to provide funds for completion of Jalaur River dam-irrigation system in Iloilo

April 25, 2024 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 111 views

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Thursday vowed that the House of Representatives would provide the needed funds to ensure the completion of the Jalaur River multi-purpose dam and irrigation system project that would irrigate thousands of hectares of farmlands in Iloilo and produce electricity.

He made the commitment after receiving a briefing on the project from National Irrigation Administration (NIA) officials in Iloilo City.

The meeting was one of a series of events in Iloilo attended by First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, Speaker Romualdez, other House officials led by Deputy Majority Leader and Iloilo 1st District Rep. Janette Garin, and government officers, and local executives.

“We will make sure that this irrigation system is completed as part of the program of President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. to see to it that there is food, at least the basic staple rice, on every Filipino household’s table,” he said.

Accompanying the Speaker were House Committee on Appropriations Chairman and Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Elizaldy Co, along with several Iloilo lawmakers, including Reps. Michael Gorriceta (1s District), Ferjenel G. Biron (4th District), Raul C. Tupas (1st District), Julienne L. Baronda (Iloilo City, Lone District), as well as Uswag Ilongo Partylist Rep. Jojo Ang, and Usec. Terrence Calatrava of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV).

Speaker Romualdez said the project would provide irrigation water to farmers, especially in rice-producing areas such as Iloilo, noting the province is one of the top rice-producing provinces in the country

“We will help our farmers with other inputs as well, like seeds, fertilizer, farm equipment. We will also assist them in marketing their produce by building farm-to-market roads,” he stressed.

He added that building irrigation systems is critical in times like the currently raging El Niño extended dry season phenomenon.

Flordalie Padillo, Information Officer of Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II informed the Speaker that the project is 74.31% complete as of March 2024.

“Tapos na po ang konstrukyon ng tatlong dams ng proyekto kabilang ang 109 meters Jalaur High Dam na magsisilbing impounding dam. As of now po, construction activities are focused on the irrigation component of the project including the 80 kilometers High Line Canal covering 9 municipalities in the Province of Iloilo,” she said.

She said the project would increase rice production in Iloilo as well as provide water and electricity to the province and its capital, Iloilo City.

“Ang JRMP II po ay isa sa 194 infrastructure projects sa ilalim ng “Build Better More” program ni Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at ito ay inaasahang magtataas sa produksyon ng bigas ng Iloilo up to 338,874 metric tons per year or equivalent to 71% increase sa current production rate,” Padillo said.

She added that JRMP II is expected to generate 6.6 megawatts hydroelectric power, supply 86 million liter of bulk water everyday for Iloilo City andn nearby areas, open opportunities for eco-tourism, apart and help reduce flodding at makakatulong sa pagbawas ng pagbaha sa Calinog at mga kalapit ng bayan.

A total 25,000 farmers and 4,500 indigenous families will benefit from the multipurpose dam project.

A selection committee of the NIA is now evaluating lease proposals for the bulk water and electricity supply that would come from the Jalaur River multipurpose dam.

The multipurpose dam would also accommodate other livelihood projects by early 2026 such as inland fishery, eco-cultural tourism, and additional renewal energy through a floating solar power farm.

South Korea’s Daewoo Engineering and Construction is the international contractor of the project, which as of March this year is already 75 percent complete.

The Jalaur river originates from Mt. Baloy in the central Panay mountain range. It traverses through Passi City and the towns of Calinog, San Enrique, Dueñas, Dingle, Dumangas, Pototan, Barotac Nuevo, Zarraga, and Leganes.