ILOILO CITY Development and Tourism:
Development Updates

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Senator F. Drilon cites needs to finish dam project, reforestation efforts to prevent flood in the future

Senator Franklin Drilon on Saturday underscored the need to have the construction of the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) completed on time and the Forestland Management Program (FMP) be executed properly to avoid flooding of many areas here in the future.

Drilon called for a damage assessment caused by the tropical depression "Quinta" that affected 481 barangays and displaced some 213, 998 individuals in Western Visayas.

He said that the completion of the JRMP II would allow better management of water resources while the execution of FMP ensured the reforestation of areas in Lambunao, Calinog and Janiuay.

Ronnie Jagorin, hydrologist of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) that oversees the JRMP II project also supported Drilon's view.

Jagorin said that a flood control component had been integrated into the design of the dam with a capacity to store in its reservoir some 327 million cubic meters of water.

He also said that the simultaneous dumping of water by the Alamonan and Ulian rivers to the Jalaur River create a choke point because of the constricted channel of the river along San Enrique.

Because of the constriction, waters will find its way in low-lying areas hereby causing the massive flooding.

Meanwhile, the FMP that was launched last month and supported by the Japan government seeks to reforest denuded forestlands by enlisting the support of local communities and provide enterprise development projects in the area.

The project includes construction of farm-to-market road and hanging bridges, irrigation and training on livelihood skills that could open more development opportunities to these towns.

It covers LGUs that play host to Suage and Ulian Rivers, both also contributory to massive flooding in the province.

Meanwhile, Drilon made it clear that he is not in favor of more infrastructures on flood control and instead pushes for management of waters through projects like the JRMP II.

“In the flood control we throw away the water to the sea,” he stated but underscored that projects similar to the JRMP provides water for irrigation and “prevent disastrous calamities like flooding.”

Drilon during the meeting lauded the preparation of local government units (LGUs) and the intervention done by national government agencies (NGAs) especially the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“I am confident that we can address all if not most of the concerns of the different municipalities in Iloilo, Capiz and Aklan,” he said, adding that the provincial government will look into the relief operations supported by the DSWD while NGAs will play lead roles in the rehabilitation aspect.

Source: PNA