South Korea provides P8.95-B ODA loan to build long-delayed Jalaur irrigation project in Iloilo

Published September 3, 2018, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Madelaine B. Miraflor

 

 

NIA–DAEWOO SIGN P11.212-BILLION CONTRACT FOR  JALAUR RIVER MULTIPURPOSE PROJECT – The Jalaur River Multipurpose Project (JRMP) will be started earlier than expected with the signing of the contract between the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd. on September 3, 2018 at the Administrator’s Conference Room, 2nd Floor, NIA Central Office, Diliman, Quezon City. Photo shows  NIA Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya (center) signing the Contract for NIA while Manila Branch Manager Se Won Park (right ) signs for Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd. Looking on is Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon (left).
NIA–DAEWOO SIGN P11.212-BILLION CONTRACT FOR JALAUR RIVER MULTIPURPOSE PROJECT – The Jalaur River Multipurpose Project (JRMP) will be started earlier than expected with the signing of the contract between the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd. on September 3, 2018 at the Administrator’s Conference Room, 2nd Floor, NIA Central Office, Diliman, Quezon City. Photo shows NIA Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya (center) signing the Contract for NIA while Manila Branch Manager Se Won Park (right ) signs for Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd. Looking on is Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon (left).

To build an irrigation project that has been stalled for about 30 years, the Philippines had to tap a loan from the South Korean government and aside from being the single biggest Official Development Assistance (ODA) coming from the East Asian nation, it is also claimed as “better than Chinese loans.”

Officials of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) announced yesterday that the construction of the second phase of Jalaur River Multi-purpose Project (JRMP II) is finally pushing through next month, thanks to the funding that will come from the South Korean government.

NIA Administrator Ricardo Visaya, together with Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and other government officials, led yesterday the contract signing for the P11.2 billion project, which will be built by Korean firm Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd.

Drilon, who sought the Korean government for the funding, said in an interview that this would be the “single biggest ODA project of South Korea.”

The Korean government, through Korea Eximbank (KEXIM), extended a loan worth P8.95 billion to the Philippines for the project. KEXIM is the official export credit agency of South Korea.

Payable in 30 years, the loan carries an interest rate of 0.15 percent.

“For a single project, this is the largest loan the Korean government has extended all over the world. At the rate of 0.15 percent, this is better than Chinese loans of 2.3 percent,” Drilon said.

The JRMP II is the 8th big irrigation project to break ground under the Duterte Administration and the second project to be funded by KEXIM.

The recently inaugurated PASA Small Reservoir Irrigation Project was the first project funded under a grant by the Korean Government through the KEXIM.

The contract signing between NIA and Daewoo marks the start of the construction of 109-meter Jalaur High Dam, 38.5 meter Afterbay Dam, 10-meter Alibutan Catch Dam, 80.74-kilometer Highline Canal, and its appurtenant structures.

The construction of JRMP was mandated under Republic Act 2651 enacted by Congress in 1960. Due to insufficient funds, the project was implemented in two stages.

Stage I is the rehabilitation of existing irrigation systems covering an area of 22,340 hectares, while Stage II is supposedly the construction of high dam, hydropower electric plant, domestic water supply, watershed management.

Stage I was completed in 1983, while Stage II was stalled since 1988 for “political reasons”, as per Drilon.

It was only after 30 years that Stage II will finally start.

“We hope we can finish this at the end of the administration,” Visaya said.

When completed, JRMP II would be the biggest dam outside Luzon. It is expected to provide a year-round irrigation water delivery to 9,500 hectares of new irrigable area and rehabilitation of 21,624 hectares covered by five existing irrigation systems in 23 municipalities and two cities in the Province of Iloilo, benefitting 24,000 farmers and their families.

The project will also provide other incidental benefits, such as flood mitigation, environmental and watershed management, promotion of eco-tourism, and fish culture. Furthermore, 6.6 MW of hydroelectric power and water supply for domestic and industrial use in the amount of 1CMS will be later implemented.

 
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