ILOILO CITY, July 8 (PNA) – Two developers are eyeing to establish an agro-industrial park within the convergence areas covered by the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project II (JRMP II).
This was disclosed by Ricardo Provido, chairman of the Regional Agri-Fisheries Council (RAFC), during the culminating activity of the 35th anniversary celebration of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and the second year of implementation of the CARP extension with reforms (CARPER) here.
“This can become an eco-zone but it will be based on the processing of agri-fishery products. This is what they call the agri-fishery development park, it is an eco-zone,” he said, adding that “some eco-zones are purely industrial.”
Provido said that the developers, which he refused to disclose at this time, were very specific that “they wanted to be in the convergence area; hopefully it will be within the Jalaur River Basin.”
He added that the location makes delivery of raw materials and finished products for shipping easy because it can be facilitated without traffic.
“It can immediately go into the coastal road and direct to the port or it can go directly to the airport,” he said.
Other factors also are the availability of water and power.
“I had a long talk with one of the proponents two weeks ago in Manila and they were very specific. We are just recommending them areas,” he said adding that the location was already available but he is not yet at the liberty to divulge.
“We hope in the next five years this will bring fruit,” he added.
The convergence covers 13 towns from the third and fourth districts of the province of Iloilo.
The JRMP II, which is a convergence project of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), includes the construction of dams that could provide irrigation to some 36,000 hectares of rice land; power generation with a capacity of about 20 megawatts, potable water and fishery development for surrounding communities.
The more or less P19 billion project which will be implemented through the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme is expected to be completed by 2015.
The Jalaur River is the second largest river in Panay and the 17th largest river system in the Philippines. (PNA)