Anticipation for the eventual operation of the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) continues to heighten.
The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) announced that as of January 2024, overall physical accomplishment of the megadam project was at 74.07 percent.
This accomplishment includes the substantial completion of all three dams including the 109-meter high Jalaur High Dam last year.
This also means that works are now focused on the irrigation component including the 80-kilometer High Line Canal and 80 kilometers main and lateral canals.
With all components nearing completion, the project is expected to fully operate by 2025.
As such, the JRMP II continues to be recognized as a timely and relevant development project by all project stakeholders including our national and local government leaders.
No less than President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. acknowledged the immense significance of the project to the economy of the region when he approved the restructuring request for JRMP II in July 2023.
This is because JRMP II supports President Marcos’ thrust of attaining food security and raising agricultural production, both essentially relevant and vital in the fulfillment of his vision for a #BagongPilipinas.
To note, Western Visayas is the third largest rice producing region in the country and boosting rice production will lead to better income for the farmers and to the attainment of better socio-economic conditions in the region.
Once operational, JRMP II will significantly increase the Province of Iloilo’s rice production to 338,874 metric tons per year equivalent to a 71.54% increase from the current production of 197,545 metric tons.
This will be attained through year-round delivery of irrigation water to a total of 31, 840 hectares of farmlands encompassing 23 municipalities in the Province of Iloilo, thereby directly benefiting a total of 25,000 farmers.
Furthermore, the JRMP II likewise supports the developmental needs of the City and Province of Iloilo through its bulk water and hydroelectric power components.
An estimated of one cubic meter per second or 86,400 liters per day will be released from the dams to the highline canal to be utilized primarily for domestic purpose in order to augment the industrial and domestic needs of Metro Iloilo.
The project will likewise generate 6.6 megawatts of clean renewable energy through its hydroelectric power component.
Situated in Calinog, Iloilo, the JRMP II will also usher inclusive rural development through the realization of its eco-cultural tourism, flood mitigation and inland fishery components.
These will significantly benefit the Indigenous Cultural Communities in the upland area known as the Panay Bukidnons and the vast population in the lowland area of the project.
The JRMP II which was once a dream is now a reality. Its completion is a triumph for all Filipinos especially the Ilonggos.
Its eventual operation means better lives for the Indigenous Cultural Communities and the food growers of the Province and the City of Iloilo. (Flordalie P. Padillo)