Iloilo City – Monitoring plans relative to the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) issued to Iloilo’s biggest irrigation project are being firmed up vis-à-vis project implementation. This as members of the Mutli-Partite Monitoring Team (MMT) for the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) convened on March 22, 2016 for a kick-off meeting.
Highlight of the meeting was the presentation and deliberation of the Manual of Operations (MOO) for project monitoring. The MOO contains specific functions of its 34 members comprised of national government agencies (NGAs), local government units (LGUs), non-government organizations (NGOs), business sector groups and the academe. Also stipulated are the schedules of monitoring set agreed by the team.
A major condition in the ECC issued to NIA on July 3, 2012 for the implementation of JRMP II, the MMT was formed through a memorandum of agreement (MOA) forged by its members on May 28, 2014. It will monitor the project’s compliance to the conditions stipulated in the ECC and Environmental Monitoring and Audit Program (EMaP). It shall also provide oversight function to ensure accomplishment of the project objectives and results. Specific members of the MMT for JRMP II include the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), project proponent,
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Provincial Environmental and Natural Resource Office (PENRO). Important members too are the Provincial Government of Iloilo and the Local Chief Executives of the eight towns affected by the project.
Representing the business sector in the MMT is the Iloilo Economic Development Foundation (ILED) while non-government organizations are represented by the PROCESS Foundation. Also represented in the MMT are the beneficiaries and stakeholders of project, the Irrigators’ Association and the Indigenous Peoples’ communities affected by JRMP II. Finally, the academe is represented by the Central Philippine University - Research Center, West Visayas State University - College of Agriculture and Forestry, and University of the Philippines Gender and Development Program.
During the meeting, the MMT agreed to further review the MOO and its Work and Financial Plan. Approval will follow on their succeeding meetings on April provided all queries and conditions were agreed upon by the members.
JRMP II dubbed as a ‘long-delayed’ irrigation development project is expected to be implemented on the second quarter of the year. It aims for a sustainable and multi-purpose utilization of the Jalaur River for irrigation, hydropower generation and bulk water supply for industrial and commercial use. A ‘game-changer’ for the province of Iloilo, the project will boost rice production, provide employment during construction, mitigate flooding and will usher eco-tourism. /JP Shimei Ramos, DC-IV