IPS BENEFIT FROM P11-B MEGA-DAM CONSTRUCTION
Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. receives a hammock from a member of the Panay Bukidnon during the Jalaur River Multipurpose River Phase (JRMP) II ceremonial groundbreaking in Calinog, Iloilo on Wednesday (Feb. 27, 2019). The indigenous people were assured that they will be the ones to benefit with the mega-dam construction. (Photo by Gail Momblan)
ILOILO CITY — The Panay-Bukidnons of Calinog, Iloilo began reaping the benefits of the implementation of the PHP11.2-billion Jalaur River Multipurpose River Phase (JRMP) II.
The ceremonial groundbreaking and capsule-laying of the project organized by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) was done on Wednesday to formally signal the start of the construction.
National Irrigation Administration (NIA) 6 (Western Visayas) manager and JRMP II’s concurrent project manager Gerardo Corsiga said in an interview on Wednesday that the agency is “working” with the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) with regards to their needs.
About 678 indigenous families in eight barangays — Agcalaga, Masaroy, Garangan, Alibunan, Toyungan, Binulosan Pequeño, Cahigon and Guinbunyogan — directly affected by the dam construction will benefit from the project, Corsiga added.
The products and skills of the IPs were showcased during the groundbreaking ceremony as they were the ones who prepared the food and tokens for the guests.
Mayflor Subong Jaganap-Cepeda, who trained the IPs through the Department of Agriculture (DA), described the gathering as a venue for Calinog to showcase what it can be proud of.
“We are happy that we can show, not only to the province of Iloilo but also to the whole Philippines, what we have here in our town,” he said in an interview.
She said the food and tokens prepared were sourced from the town’s own soil.
About 30 IPs who attended the livelihood training also taught their neighbors in their respective villages, she added.
“Our IPs welcome trainings. They are open to new learning, especially (because) they can see for themselves that they can apply their knowledge outright,” she said.
Some of the products of the IPs that were given to the guests were hammocks and native delicacies that include cassava cake, taro chips, cassava chips, and cassava cupcakes. (PNA)