Philippine News, Iloilo –– The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) here is positive that the informed consent of indigenous communities needed for stage 2 implementation of the JALAUR RIVER MULTI-PURPOSE PROJECT will soon be completed.
Project manager Gerardo P. Corsiga confirmed that the P11.212 billion economic assistance program funded by the Korean Export-Import Bank is gaining wide support from indigenous people and other communities who are starting to appreciate the need for potable water, development irrigation and power generation facilities in Panay.
Philippine senator Franklin Drilon who helped facilitate the project stressed that the implementation of the project by NIA and its Korean counterparts will not only generate 17,000 jobs in Western Visayas but also augment agricultural production, stimulate agri–industrial activities, and spur the local economy as well as its eco-tourism industry.
“As a multi-purpose project, it will provide potable water to Iloilo and give environmental benefits such as flood mitigation and control. And with the project expected to be completed by year 2015, we are confident that this enterprise will make Western Visayas the rice granary of the Philippines once again”, the senator added.
Sen. Drilon earlier stated that the Jalaur project, the first large-scale reservoir dam to be built outside Luzon, will provide uninterrupted irrigation water supply to 32,000 hectares of farm land and benefit more than 783,000 farmers. He said he is confident that, with the project’s completion, annual rice production in Region 6 would significantly increase. The project is also expected to expand the production areas of sugarcane and other crops in the region.
Korean Finance Minister Bahk Jaewan supported Drilon’s statements saying “this project will significantly help improve the agricultural productivity and ultimately increase the rice self-sufficiency of the Philippines.” The project’s detailed engineering plan is currently being prepared by Korean consultants with their local counterparts.