The Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) VI visited again the PhP11.2-billion Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project (JRMP) Stage II in Calinog, Iloilo on February 17, 2022. The inspection team – composed of representatives of NEDA, DBM, DILG, PMS and the Iloilo Provincial Project Monitoring Committee – checked on the progress of the three dams, highline canal, and the housing project for the affected Panay Bukidnon Indigenous Peoples (IP) community.

Compared to the same quarter last year, significant improvements in project implementation were seen by the inspection team. These include increase in the number of workers and equipment, installation of additional safety and directional signages, and better access roads.

Overall,  the civil works of the JRMP II is 46.39 percent completed as of inspection date. This is 3.44 percentage points ahead of target accomplishment based on the project contract.

The Alibunan Catch Dam is substantially completed. Meanwhile, the concreting works and other activities for the 80-kilometer high line canal, 109-meter Jalaur High Dam,  and 38.5-meter Jalaur Afterbay Dam are ongoing.  The latter is targeted to be completed by the Daewoo E&C and NIA in December 2022.

“We are now walking on top of the dam structures. Before we were just looking at the base of the mountains from the viewing platforms. The civil works of the main project components are gaining traction so we should ensure that the implementation concerns are properly addressed,” said NEDA VI ARD Arecio A. Casing Jr. during the inspection.

DBM VI ARD Maria Liane L. Gayomali raised the need for NIA and the contractor to ensure that the program of works is being followed. “We need to complete the project based on the approved schedule,” she stressed.

The housing project, implemented by the NHA in coordination with NIA for the affected IP community, is also targeted to be finished this year.  The project is ongoing at 61 percent completion. It includes the construction of the 35 bungalow single-detached housing units with a floor area of 35 square meters in a 150 square meters lot.  The houses exhibit a mix of modern and indigenous designs. This shows that the beneficiaries were consulted in the planning and implementation stages of the project.

“I regularly visit my housing unit to check the progress of the contractor’s work. I am very happy that this project was provided to us. We will take care of our property and improve it once the project is officially turned over to us,” said Mr. Leonardo C. Caras, one of the IP beneficiaries in Sitio Agburi, Barangay Cahigon, Calinog.

Meanwhile, the overflow bridge 100 meters downstream of the Alibunan Catch Dam is physically completed and operational. The construction of the project was requested by the RPMC VI to ensure the safe crossing of the locals in the area.  (MTJinon/NEDA6)