Revival of Jalaur River Development Project to answer water needs of Iloilo

April 23, 2010 11:40 am 

ILOILO CITY, April 23 -– The revival of the Jalaur River Development Project can answer the water need of Iloilo as well as boost rice production in the province.

This was the view of former Iloilo Ilonggo senator Franklin Drilon when he spoke during a forum dubbed as “ Business Forum: Knowing he Business Sentiments for Iloilo’s Economic Growth” that gathered some 15 business associations here at the Iloilo Grand Hotel on Thursday.

Drilon cited water as one of the major problems in Iloilo that make investors think twice before making their investments.

He added that the problem on power will finally be addressed once the coal-fired power plant of the Global Business Power Corporation (GBPC) will start to operate in the third quarter of the year.

The Jalaur River Development Project has components to include irrigation, potable water, electricity and livelihood support.

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) several months ago confirmed that an Austrian firm has signified interest to invest on the project. The documents for the proposed project are now with the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and the Regional Development Council (RDC) for their action.

Meanwhile, during the forum Drilon disclosed that should he be given the chance to go back to the senate he will allot P5-million of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to update the feasibility study of the project.

He cited that before Panay was teeming with fields while Negros Occidental has its sugarcane.

He lamented that while Negros Occidental was able to sustain its sugarcane production yet Iloilo’s ricelands are getting smaller due to lack of irrigation.

“We must not give up. We must try to revive the Jalaur River Development Project so that we can have both irrigation and a source of water for Iloilo,” he said.

He added that Ilonggos “can have food security” once it is back to being the bread basket of Western Visayas.

Drilon also took the opportunity to inform the participants of some of the major products that he facilitated for Iloilo when he was still in government service.

These include among others the P6.2 billion New Iloilo Airport of International Standard; P165-million Iloilo Port and Passenger Terminal, P100-million Hall of Justice as well as several other bridges.

He cited as one of his significant projects the construction of 50 school buildings in Iloilo under the Barrio School Program of the Federation of Filipino Chamber of Commerce and Industry. (PNA) LOR/PGLena

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