NEDA Undersecretary for Regional Development Group Carlos Bernardo O. Abad Santos, who also serves as Chairperson of the National Project Monitoring Committee (NPMC), visited the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) in the Municipality of Calinog, Iloilo on March 9, 2023.

The inspection team included NEDA VI OIC-Regional Director Arecio A. Casing, Jr., and three technical staff from the Project Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PMED).

JRMP II is the biggest irrigation project in Iloilo and the first large-scale water reservoir constructed outside Luzon. Its major components are the Jalaur High Dam, Jalaur Afterbay Dam, Alibunan Catch Dam and the 80-kilometer highline canal.

The Jalaur High Dam can store 250.70 million cubic meters of water for irrigation, potable water supply, inland fisheries, hydropower, and eco-tourism purposes. Upon completion, the project is expected to double the rice production of the province of Iloilo.

JRMP II Project Manager Engr. Jonel B. Borres reported the progress of the construction, including the accomplishments on the commitments of the different government agencies and the Provincial Government of Iloilo to the affected communities. As of inspection date, the project has an overall physical accomplishment of 64.5 percent. Meanwhile, the housing component for the 32 families of Indigenous Peoples (IP) affected by the project is near completion and will be turned over in the second quarter of 2023.

During his visit, Usec. Abad Santos lauded NIA for the project. “This is a game-changer for Western Visayas, and will surely spur economic growth in the region and even the country. The increase in the yield of our farmers will help achieve our goal of food security,’ he said.  He also highlighted the importance of the timely completion of the project to address the scarcity of potable water supply in the region, particularly in Iloilo.(EAMPareja/NEDA VI)