MORE FUNDS FOR MEGADAM: Construction of Jalaur dam project is 65% complete

JRMP II Area Implementing Team 1 leader Engr. Sheila Antonio said that the overall accomplishment of the Jalaur Mega Dam is already at 65.58 percent. (JRMP II photos)

By John Noel E. Herrera

Around P4 billion to P5 billion is needed on top of the original P11.2-billion budget is needed to complete the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage (JRMP) II, which is considered the largest megadam project outside Luzon.

JRMP II Area Implementing Team 1 leader Engr. Sheila Antonio said the project is already 65.58 percent complete.

Antonio said the construction of the Jalaur High Dam, which will serve as an impounding dam with an estimated capacity of 250.70 million cubic meters for irrigation and bulk water supply once completed, is already at 77.16 percent or 84.1 meters high out of its structural height of 109 meters.

The Alibunan River Catch Dam and Jalaur Afterbay Dam, which will provide irrigation water to farmlands in Zone 1 of the project and regulate water from the impounding dam to the High Line Canal once operational, are already considered substantially completed.

The construction of the 80.736-kilometer-long High Line Canal, the main conveyance structure of JRMP II, is already 58.75 percent done.

Meanwhile, National Irrigation Administration (NIA)-6 information officer Steve Cordero said that the construction of JRMP II would be completed by September 2024 (not December 2023), but the mega dam’s full operation may start by March 2025, as some irrigation components may not be completed yet this year.

Cordero also revealed that they previously asked for a time extension due to the challenges brought by the weather condition and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID)-19 pandemic.

“Number one is weather conditions. The majority of the challenge is in weather. We are dealing with concrete, RCC (Roller Compacted Concrete) method to be specific, so kailangan na sunny yung weather para makapag-construct ang contractor. Then, during the pandemic, there were movements that were temporarily stopped, activities were stopped because of infection, at the same time yung mobilization ng contractors, yung experts from Korea, hindi kaagad nakarating for foundation treatment,” he explained.

The RCC method is a modern technology adopted worldwide as an alternative to conventional concrete due to its economic value, high performance, and high speed of construction.


With the extension of the project, Cordero revealed that there would be an increase in funding, but it’s not yet final as the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) central office still needs to evaluate it.

“But ang ating contractor (Daewoo Engineering and Construction), for price escalation humingi siya ng around four to five billion pesos, but it is not yet final because under evaluation pa,” he explained.

NIA-6 also noted that the housing project in Sitio Agburi, Brgy. Cahigon, Calinog, Iloilo intended for the affected residents is already 94.53 percent complete as of March 2023.

Cordero said they just need to secure the water source for the families before they could turn over the housing units.

NIA previously said that the beneficiaries of the project, which they implemented together with the National Housing Authority (NHA), are those whose current residential houses are expected to be submerged during the filling up of the JRMP II high dam.

Meanwhile, the JRMP II is expected to provide irrigation to 31,840 hectares of farmland in Iloilo, generate 6.6 megawatts of hydroelectric power, 86 million liters per day of bulk water supply for the province and city of Iloilo, generate eco-cultural tourism opportunities, and mitigate flooding in Calinog and nearby towns.

NIA-6 added that the JRMP II is projected to increase the annual production of rice in Iloilo to 300,000 metric tons from 140,000 metric tons and expand the production areas of sugarcane and other crops.

(This report was updated to correct the completion date in the 6th paragraph in September 2024, not December 2023)