37 COVID infections halt anew Iloilo mega dam construction

ILOILO CITY — Construction for the P11.2-billion mega dam project in Iloilo province by a South Korean firm has again been halted after 37 workers have been infected by COVID-19.

This is after Mayor Francisco Calvo of Calinog town issued an executive order of temporary suspending operations by Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd., the contractor for the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project-Stage II (JRMP-II) undertaken by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

Of the 37 Daewoo workers infected by COVID-19, 35 are Filipinos while the remaining two are South Koreans.

Concrete layering starts for the high dam of the P11.2-billion mega dam project in Iloilo province. (Courtesy of JRMP-II/Manila Bulletin)

Calinog Municipal Administrator Rachel Manero said that work suspension is scheduled until September 23 or until further notice to be able to conduct rigid contact tracing and curbing the spread of local transmission.

This was not the first time there is a temporary stoppage of work for what is touted as the biggest mega dam project outside of Luzon.

Last April, more than 80 workers were infected by COVID-19.

The local government of Calinog is urging Daewoo to reassess its protocols and make sure minimum public health standards are followed within the project site.

The Western Visayas regional office of NIA has earlier reported that the COVID-19 infections last April did not have a negative impact as work accomplishment even went beyond its target for the first quarter of the year.