ILOILO CITY: The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) will continue to pursue the construction of the P11.2-billion Jalaur River Multipurpose Project (JRMP) II in Calinog, Iloilo in spite of a pending case challenging the bidding process, NIA Administrator Peter said on Wednesday.
Lavińa said that the agency is currently working to resolve the case filed by the Korean firm Daewoo against their Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).
Acting on a petition by Daewoo, the Quezon City Regional Trial Court on October 20 last year stopped NIA from conducting a new bidding for the mega dam project, and instead ordered that the bids submitted by Korean firms Daewoo and Daelin to build the JRMP II be reevaluated.
Lavińa said that the NIA has asked for assistance from the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Eximbank) to prevail upon Daewoo to withdraw the case.
“We are just waiting for them to withdraw the case and immediately we will proceed with the rebidding,” he said, expressing hope that construction of the project would commence this year.
He added that Eximbank is also “eager to proceed with the project having been delayed.” The bank is also funding other projects in the country.
“If we will not be able to resolve the problem on the Jalaur, they might lose hope,” he said.
Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. committed to continue supporting the project, as “it will ensure faster growth and development in the city and the province of Iloilo.”
He said that the project would be able to irrigate 33,000 hectares of rice lands in the province.