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PIA Press Release
Wednesday, January 04, 2012

DBM releases P450-M for Phl-Korea irrigation project in Iloilo

MANILA, Jan. 4 -- The Aquino administration has ramped up its investment in agriculture sector by backing the construction of the Stage II of the Jalaur River Multipurpose Irrigation Project (JRMP II) of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad said his department has already released an initial funding of P450 million for the multi-use project so that crucial preparatory activities, which include survey, geotechnical, exploratory and environmental works, road settlement negotiations and other pre-engineering activities, could already commence

“The DA’s National Rice Program highlights the Aquino Administration’s commitment to rice self sufficiency by 2013. We are investing this much in Iloilo to bolster its production capacity as one of the major rice basins of the country,” Abad said.

“This project was pushed by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Senator Franklin Drilon, who wanted to convert the perennial flooding and dislocation problem in Western Visayas into an opportunity for rural growth and development,” he added.

The JRMP II, an irrigation facility designed with provisions for a hydro-electric power and bulk water supply, is supported by an P8.95-billion official development assistance (ODA) extended by the Korean government through its Export-Import Bank’s Economic Cooperation Fund. The government counterpart fund of P2.2 billion includes the initial P450-million release.

Abad said the project will be implemented in two phases. The first phase, amounting to P11.2 billion, entails the construction of the Jalaur and Albunan dams and other irrigation infrastructure such as the afterbay and highline canals.

The project—the first large-scale reservoir dam outside of Luzon—will provide uninterrupted irrigation water supply to 31,840 hectares of land in most part if Iloilo. This increases the irrigated lands in the region by around 10 percent and the annual regional rice production by around five percent. It will likewise expand the production areas of sugarcane and other crops.

“The project is very timely as it will contribute to the productivity of our farmers and to our target of a 7.6 percent increase in annual rice production,” Abad said.

Meanwhile, the second phase will entail the development, operation and management of the project’s power generation and water supply component through a Public-Private Partnership.(DBM)

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