The Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) remains to be a priority project of the Aquino Administration in Western Visayas. On his latest State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Benigno Aquino III once again included JRMP II in the roster of infrastructure projects his administration championed. Other projects mentioned include Lulutan Bridge in Isabela, Balog-Balog Multi-Purpose Project Phase 2 in Tarlac and Basilan Circumferential Road in Basilan among many others.
“On the Straight Path, long awaited infrastructure projects are constructed one after the other. . . The Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project, in Iloilo, was conceptualized around the time of my birth; We have recently broken ground for stage 2 of this project.”
JRMP II, dubbed “long-delayed irrigation project,” dates back from 1960s during the legislation of Republic Act 2651 otherwise known as “An act providing for the construction of the Jalaur Multi-Purpose Project in the Province of Iloilo and Governing its operation after its completion.” Stage 1 of the project was completed in 1982 which was followed by a long lull that lasted for 30 years. Only in 2012, under the Aquino Administration, Stage 2 was brought to life after the governments of South Korea and the Philippines inked loan agreement for the project.
National Irrigation Administration VI Regional Manager and JRMP II Concurrent Project Manager, Engineer Gerardo P. Corsiga welcomed the President’s acknowledgement and thanked the Chief Executive for his unwavering support for the project.
“We are humbled and grateful at the same time with the President’s acknowledgement of JRMP II on his final SONA,” said Manager Corsiga. “This proves that the project and its beneficiaries, our Ilonggo stakeholders, particularly our farmers and our Indigenous Peoples (IPs), have a special place in the President’s heart.”
For Manager Corsiga, JRMP II is a legacy that Aquino will leave his beloved people in Iloilo. He further said that he, along with the project’s working force, are happy to take part in the realization of this “dream project” that will complement the unprecedented growth of the province and city of Iloilo.
JRMP II is the first large-scale reservoir to be constructed outside of Luzon. It will provide year-round irrigation to 31, 840 hectares of farm land and increase annual rice production from 140,000 to 300,000 metric tons. Further, it will contribute to the national rice self-sufficiency target of 7.6 percent.
Also, its 6.6 megawatts hydroelectric power and bulk water component will augment the province’s and the city’s demand for power and potable water. And finally, the generation of employment opportunities during construction and eco-cultural tourism in the areas it covers particularly the hinterlands of Calinog.
Branded as “Partner in Progress,” the project is a much-deserved and much-needed development for every Ilonggo family. For the third time now, the project has consistently been on the President’s SONA since 2013. /JP (Steve E. Cordero, PRO C)