MEGA-DAM IS GOOD TO GO: NIA finally awards Jalaur contract to Korean bidder

THE National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has finally awarded the contract for the P11.2-billion Jalaur River Multipurpose Project II (JRMP II) to a qualified Korean bidder

NIA-6 regional manager Gerardo Corsiga met with Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. on Jan 10, 2018 to brief the latter on the project.

Korean firm Daewoo bagged the contract to construct the multi-billion peso mega-dam in Calinog, Iloilo.

“Na-award na ang contract,” Defensor said.

The Notice to Proceed will be released February 2018.

Daewoo and Daelim are the Korean firms which vied for the mega-dam contract.

But in 2017, a Quezon City Regional Trial Court halted the bidding because of disputes in the bidding process.

The RTC ordered the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of NIA Central Office to stop the bidding process following the case filed by Daewoo which accused the BAC of grave abuse of authority for declaring a failure of bidding due to lack of substantial documents from both companies.

But NIA was able to settle the legal issue in the last quarter of 2017.

In his meeting with Corsiga, Defensor said they were also able to settle the right-of-way problem of the High-Line Canal in Cabatuan town which will cover a portion of the Iloilo International Airport.

NIA and Mayor Ronaldo Caspe agreed to relocate the canal to avoid impeding the future expansion of the airport runway.

“Even I do not agree with the proposal because the area is reserved for an additional runway. We need to anticipate the future,” the governor said.

The long overdue project, which was conceived in 2010, is scheduled to break ground in the first quarter of 2018.

Engr. Roberto Lapeña, principal engineer of JRMP II Project Coordinator’s Office, said in a previous interview with The Daily Guardian that they are awaiting the concurrence of the lending institution, which is the Korean Export-Import (EXIM) Bank, before starting with the project.

The project was also able to overcome technical impediments following the extension of its loan validity and the construction period for 46 months.

JRMP II’s construction period already expired on November 28, 2016, while its loan validity was only until May 28, 2017.

With the 46-month extension, the project implementation will expire September 2021 and the loan validity on March 28, 2022.

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