Some 17,000 workers from this part of the country are expected to benefit from the construction of the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II), which, once completed, is going to be the biggest dam outside of Luzon area.
Senator Franklin Drilon recently announced before members of the business groups here that he discussed the project with President Benigno Aquino III last December 15 and the Chief Executive “gave his go signal for the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) approval of the project.”
Once NEDA stamps its approval to the project, the work on the engineering design of the dam will start in January of 2012. The loan negotiations with the Korean Export-Import Bank of Korea (Eximbank) will also commence immediately.
To recall, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Eximbank during the visit of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in the country last month.
The JRMP II was aimed to “augment agricultural production, stimulate agro-industrial activities, spurt local economy and tourism industry, increase employment and contribute to over-all economic development,” Drilon said.
The project comes in two phases with the Korean Eximbank shelling out P8.95 billion for the Phase I of the project composed of the construction of Jalaur and Alibunan dams, afterbay, highline canals and other appurtenant structures for the irrigation component.
The national government will have a counterpart fund of P2.2 billion.
Drilon said Phase II will be packaged through a public-private partnership for the construction of the power plant and domestic power supply components.
“JRMP will be finished before the term of President Aquino ends in 2016,” he said.
“Once completed, I am confident the project will provide huge benefits to Iloilo. Needless to say, the project will generate thousands of employment opportunities and economic enhancement in the region,” he said.