ILOILO CITY: A windfall of major infrastructure projects in Iloilo province amounting some P4 billion allocated in the 2014 national budget will take off early next year, a lawmaker said over the weekend.
Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said the share of the city and province of Iloilo from the national budget will expectedly push social and economic development programs in his hometown, which was devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
“The Ilonggo people deserved such windfall of infrastructures which were denied them in the past administrations. It is now with President Benigno Aquino 3rd that such development projects are realized,” Drilon said, adding that the government expects to complete the developments before Aquino’s term ends in 2016.
With assistance from the Korean government, around P11.2 billion was allocated for the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project, which includes the building of large-scale reservoir dam.
Drilon said the dam project will provide uninterrupted irrigation water supply to 32,000 hectares of farmland to benefit more than 783,000 farmers in the province, and will also harness some 8 megawatts of electric power and bulk water supply of more than 35,000 cubic liters a day.
He added that another P1.645 billion has been allotted to fund various roads, bridges and flood-control projects to be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways .
Of the said fund, P373.55 million will go to key infrastructure projects in Iloilo City such as the repair of the Iloilo airport direct road, Jaro spur road and Manduriao-Jaro road, and the widening of the airport spur road and Arevalo by-pass road.
On the other hand, P180.43 million will go to the renovation of Iloilo-Antique, Guimbal-Tubungan, and Miagao-Cadre roads, and Maloto, Mahon and Andona bridges.
The government has also allotted P421.8 million for the construction of a new route along Iloilo-Capiz road, and the repair of Pototan-Tina-Lambunao, Iloilo east coast Capiz, and Barotac Nuevo roads. The fund will also be used to rehabilitate a slope protection along Lambunao-INCA road and to repair the Jalaud bridge along Barotac Nuevo.
The third engineering district will get P394.7 million while the fourth engineering district will get P28 million for the widening of Iloilo east coast-Estancia, Passi-San Rafael-Lemery-Sara and the Concepcion-San Dionisio roads. The budget will also be used to construct drainage systems along New Lucena-Santa Barbara and Manduriao-Cabatuan roads, and repair the Nabitasan bridge along Iloilo City-Leganes-Dumangas road.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health has allocated P484.71 million for major hospitals in the province, which include Western Visayas Medical Center amounting to P384.6 million, Western Visayas Sanitarium with P67.47 million and Don Jose Monfort Medical Center with P32.64 million.
The Department of Transportation and Communications for their part also apportioned P274.5 million for the expansion of the Iloilo International Airport, and another P10 million each for the development of Estancia and Miagao feeder ports.
The Iloilo International Convention Center, which will host international performances and programs, will get a share of P200 million to augment its initial P500-million funding. Around P10 million will also be given for the reconstruction of the Santa Barbara church and convent, the province’s most cherished heritage site.