The multibillion-peso Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) is getting closer to being completed, according to the National Irrigation Administration (NIA-6).

As of January 2024, the project in the town of Calinog, Iloilo registered an overall physical project accomplishment of 74 percent.

“This accomplishment includes the substantial completion of all three dams including the 109-meter high Jalaur High Dam last year,”  NIA-6 said in a press release.

“This likewise means that works are now focused on the irrigation component including the 80-kilometer High Line Canal and 80 kilometers main and lateral canals,” it added.

The mega dam, touted to be the biggest dam outside of Luzon, is targeted to be fully operational by next year.

The project, is expected to “increase the province of Iloilo’s rice production to 338,874 metric tons per year equivalent to a 71.54% increase from the current production of 197,545 metric tons.”

“This will be attained through year-round delivery of irrigation water to a total of 31, 840 hectares of farmlands encompassing 23 municipalities in the province of Iloilo, thereby directly benefiting a total of 25,000 farmers,” NIA-6 said.

Lobbied by former senator Franklin Drilon, the dam will also bring other benefits such as hydroelectric power, bulk water, eco-cultural tourism, flood mitigation and employment.

The construction of JRMP II started in 2019. It is funded under a grant by the Korean government through the KEXIM Bank.IMT