Indigenous Peoples commission issues final approval for Iloilo dam

Date of publication: 
30 August, 2015

ILOILO CITY — The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has received the final document needed to proceed with the implementation of the P11.2-billion Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II in Calinog, Iloilo province.

Iloilo’s provincial legal officer, lawyer Dennis T. Ventilacion, said NIA acquired the resolution of the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Board of Commissioners, approving the issuance of Certification Precondition (CP) to NIA to construct the three-dam project that will be located in the ancestral domains of the Halawodnon-Bukidnon and Panay-Bukidnon IP communities.

NCIP Board of Commissioners Chair Leonor T. Oralde-Quintayo signed the resolution, which was approved by the Commission en Banc during its regular session on Aug. 11.

The CP was approved following the assessment and favorable recommendations of the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) Team, Regional Review Team and Ancestral Domains Office.

“After due deliberation on the Free Prior and Informed Consent Reports and other related documents for the proposed project, the presentation of the evaluation and recommendation report of the Ancestral Domains Office and testimonial accounts of invited resource persons, the commission found that the procedures and process requirements for the conduct of FPIC and issuance of Certification Precondition are in accordance with NCIP Administrative Order No. 03, Series of 2012, otherwise known as the FPIC Guidelines of 2012,” the resolution said.

“The Koreans have been waiting for it (CP), for them to undergo the bidding process. We are confident that there are no more conflicts in the project,” Mr. Ventilacion said.

The JRMP Project II will be funded from an P8.9-billion soft loan from the Korea Export-Import Bank and P2.2 billion in counterpart funds from the national government.

One of the loan conditions is that the project will be awarded to a South Korean contractor.

After the bidding, a Notice to Proceed will be issued to the winning bidder before the end of the year, added Mr. Ventilacion.

NIA applied for the issuance of an NCIP certification as the project components consisting of the Jalaur High Dam, Jalaur After Bay Dam and Alibunan Catchment Dam will affect 16 IP communities in 16 barangays. — Louine Hope Conserva