Just Compensation Sought for Jalaur Affected Families

Iloilo City – ‘No stone is left unturned’ in the pursuit of just compensation for the affected families of the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II). 

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA), lead project implementer, and the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF), fund provider, has been conducting due diligence evaluations of the project’s compensation policy. 

The policy covers all crops, trees, land, residential structures, and economic structures affected by the project.

Most recent of which is the independent due diligence mission of World Bank Social Development and Resettlement Specialist Karen Jacob on July 20-24, 2018.

The Environmental and Social (ES) Monitoring Team commissioned this independent evaluation to ensure that the compensation policy of NIA will be in accordance to the country’s new Right-Of-Way (ROW) law, Republic Act 10752.

Enacted on March 7, 2016, the new ROW law or “An Act Facilitating the Acquisition of Right-of-Way Site or Location for National Government Infrastructure Projects”, aimed to safeguard just compensation for the lands affected by government projects. 

To determine the appropriate price offer for Land,  the implementing agency may engage the services of a government financial institution with adequate experience in property appraisal or an independent property appraiser accredited by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) or a professional association of appraisers recognized by the BSP to be procured by the implementing  agency under the provisions of RA 9184, otherwise known as the “Government Procurement Reform Act” and its implementing rules and regulations pertaining to consulting services, the new law provides. 

In compliance to this and as recommended by the ES Team, NIA commissioned the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to conduct independent appraisal of the 14 sample lots affected by JRMP II in January 2018.

The result bared that there is no significant difference in NIA’s appraisal and that of the LBP. The same result was validated by Ms. Jacob. 

Furthermore, NIA also sought for the official opinion of the Office of Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) on the application of RA 10752 in NIA’s compensation policy. To which the OGCC responded that:

“…the price offer of NIA, the implementing agency, which price was accepted by the affected land owners, would suffice and can be considered substantial compliance with the with the provisions of RA 10752”.

As of writing, 96.75% of the PAFs identified by NIA has already accepted the price offer of NIA for their affected properties especially land. /JP Steve Cordero