As one of the preparations for the implementation of Iloilo’s biggest irrigation project, the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) form a homeowners’ association for the 64 Project Affected Families (PAF) which will be relocated in Sitio Agburi, Cahigon, Calinog, Iloilo.
The Cahigon Indigenous Peoples Homeowners’ Association (CIPHOA) is conceptualized after series of meetings conducted with the PAFs for relocation from Sitio Bia-ong, Sitio Agburi and Sitio Agnati of Cahigon which will form part of the submerged areas of the project.
During the orientation, Ruth Cely M. Jamelo, Division Manager of Institutional Development, emphasized the importance of establishing an association among the members of the community of the said
The said association will not only unite the members of the community but can also aid them in formulating policies for their
protection and improvement.
“It can be the bridge between the community and the programs of different agencies, both government and non-government, to effectively channel the delivery of the projects,” Jamelo said.
“The association will play an important role in the community. Therefore, members should make it sure that the officials are responsible enough and are willing to perform their duties and obligations”, she added.
Developing strategic ways to elevate the economic status of the relocatees by promoting the indigenous practices and ways of the community into a tourist attraction or making their products as potential business is very much possible.
The head of the family or partners are welcome to be members of the said association.
During the drafting of the by-laws in January, the association envisioned a progressive community, happy, united and a model homeowners’ association. Members are entitled to participate in all the activities called by the association. They can also vote and are eligible for any elective or appointive position in the association.
Through NIA’s convergence with other government agencies, the National Housing Authority (NHA), together with the project proponent, will fund the said relocation site. Series of consultations and meetings have already been conducted and the community were consulted in the design of the proposed houses.
JRMP II is the first large-scale reservoir dam outside of Luzon. It will provide year-round irrigation to 31,840 hectares of farm land and increase rice production. Also, its 6.6 megawatts hydroelectric power and bulk water component will augment the province’s and city’s demand for power and potable water. It will mitigate flooding in the municipality of Calinog and nearby municipalities.
As of writing, NIA is awaiting for the completion of the international competitive bidding that will determine the project contractor. /JP (RAMON C. SALVILLA)