Press Release
July 2, 2012

Drilon allays earthquake fears on multi-billion agri project in Iloilo

Senator Franklin M. Drilon has dismissed concerns that the P11.2-billion Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project-Stage II (JRMP), the biggest dam that will be constructed outside Luzon, will be sitting on an active fault line.

Drilon said the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) already issued a fault certification stating that the site of the project is not prone to ground rupture hazard brought about by movement of active fault line.

Citing a report from PHIVOLCS, Drilon said the proposed Jalaur main dam and reservoir is 11 kilometers away from the nearest active fault line in the area which is the West Panay Fault.

That, he added, is still farther than the distance of the Pantabangan Dam located across Pampanga River in Pantabangan Nueva Ecija to the nearest mapped Digdig Segment of the Philippine Fault. The measured distances of its main and secondary dams to the fault line are approximately 5.5 and 3.1 kilometers, respectively.

Quoting PHIVOLCS Director Renato U. Solidum Jr., he said that even if one of the project's component dams is situated 5km east of the fault, it is still safe from effects of an earthquake.

The other components of the project are also far from the West Panay Fault which include the proposed Albunan-Ulian Catch (11km), Jalaur Afterbay Dam (12km), Tagbacan Catch Dam (10km), Jayubo Catch Dam (9km), Ulian Afterbay Dam (6km), and Ulian High Dam (5km).

Drilon, who pushed for the realization of JRMP, said he supports the recommendation raised by Solidum for a buffer zone against ground rupture hazard of at least 5 meters on both sides of the mapped fault trace. JRMP is an irrigation facility designed with provisions for a hydro-electric power and bulk water supply, is supported by an P8.95-billion official development assistance (ODA) extended by the Korean government through its Export-Import Bank's Economic Cooperation Fund. The government counterpart fund is P2.2 billion.

Last month, President Benigno S. Aquino III officially launched the actual construction of the multi-billion project.

"The Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project II is envisioned to augment agricultural production, stimulate agri-industrial activities, spur the local economy and the eco-tourism industry, increase employment opportunities and contribute to the over-all development of Western Visayas," Drilon said.

Once completed, Drilon said the project--the first large-scale reservoir dam outside of Luzon--will provide uninterrupted irrigation water supply to 32,000 hectares of farm land and benefit more than 783,000 farmers.

This will increase the irrigated lands in the region by around 10 percent and the annual regional rice production by around five percent. It will likewise expand the production areas of sugarcane and other crops, noted Drilon.

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