The Korea Eximbank (KExim) has finally given its concurrence to the construction contract of Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) on November 19, 2019. This after several validations and field visits of the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) Environmental and Social (ES) Monitoring Team together with the executives of the bank. 

“We kindly notify you that the subject contract has been approved by us in accordance with Section 6.03 of the General Terms and Conditions Applicable to EDCF Loan Agreement”, read part of the letter signed by Ms. Hye-young Yang, Kexim Director for Asia Team 2.

Ms. Yang also asked for the continued cooperation and support of NIA to the ES Monitoring Team’s missions and compliance to requirements as the project starts its most important stage of implementation. The said team has quarterly visits to Iloilo and personally conducts meetings with Project Affected Families (PAFs), government agencies and other parties including civil society groups. 

Securing the concurrence to the contract from the Exim Bank had not been an easy feat for National Irrigation Administration (NIA). Certain environmental and social requirements have to be complied by the project proponent. Several consultations with PAFs including people living in affected communities were conducted. Involvement of stakeholders in project implementation as well as ensuring the security of those with affected properties and the environment are the main concerns of the funding institution. Moreover, NIA has to coordinate with the various government agencies for the delivery of commitments to the Indigenous Peoples (IP) community affected by JRMP II implementation in the hinterlands of Calinog, Iloilo. All of these are monitored and checked by the ES team.

With the construction concurrence, NIA then proceeded in granting Notice to Proceed (NTP) to Daewoo Engineering and Construction (Daewoo E&C) on November 29, 2019. This prompted the contractor to officially start with their construction activities. They began with the construction of the temporary facility yard in Brgy. Agcalaga, Calinog. 

Construction of the 109-meter High Dam, 38-meter Afterbay Dam, 10-meter Catch Dam, 80-kilometer Highline Canal and other appurtenant structures will be done simultaneously in a period of 46 months. Fund for the project is from a tied-loan with the Government of South Korea through its EDCF. JRMP II with a tagline “Katuwang sa Kauswagan” is a dream project for the Ilonggos  which is now coming into reality. /JP Flordalie Pagente