ILOILO CITY -- The planned P15-billion Jalaur River Multipurpose Project II in Iloilo province may soon secure South Korean government assistance, Senator Franklin M. Drilon said in a public meeting here last Saturday.
Mr. Drilon said he presented the project to Joong-Kyung Choi, South Korea’s minister of knowledge economy and former ambassador to the Philippines, during a meeting in that country two weeks ago.
"I presented the project to him last week for possible funding by the Korean ExIm Bank (Export-Import Bank of Korea). The project has quite a big funding requirement," Mr. Drilon said in his speech during the 4th general membership assembly of the Iloilo Economic Development Foundation, Inc. last Saturday.
Mr. Drilon said a seven-man technical team from that country inspected the project site in Calinog, Iloilo last week.
Once the technical team submits its report, the Korean ExIm bank will bid out the contract on the work to revalidate the project’s feasibility study. The revalidation report will pave the way for the signing of an agreement between the Agriculture departments of Korea and the Philippines on the implementation of the project, Mr. Drilon said.
The project will also be presented to President Benigno S. C. Aquino III this week. "I hope to get his go signal before we can proceed further," Mr. Drilon said.
He added that he was hoping a memorandum of agreement on the project would be signed between the two countries when South Korean Lee Myung-bak visits the Philippines this November.
"I am confident that, if plans do not miscarry [sic], we can start the execution of the project by January 2013," he said.
The project aims to irrigate year-round an estimated 34,430 hectares of farmland in 24 towns.
It can also generate about 11.5 megawatts of hydroelectric power and provide potable bulk water supply of up to 100,000 cubic meters for household and industrial use in nearby towns, including Iloilo City. -- Francis Allan L. Angelo