1 June 2012
President Benigno S. Aquino III graced the first Philippine International River Summit where he led the switch-on ceremony of the scale model of the Jalaur River Project Stage II.
Sen. Franklin Drilon, a local resident of Iloilo City, presented to the President the construction plan of the multi-billion-peso Jalaur River Multi-purpose Project (JRMP) Stage II that will benefit 18,000 farmers by providing irrigation to 32,000 hectares of farmland.
The P11.2-billion project will be funded by Eximbank of Korea through a soft loan with 30-years to pay as part of the joint agreement made by the Prime Minister of Korea to President Aquino during his state visit in the country.
President Aquino also received a request for the issuance of proclamation declaring March 22 as an annual observance of the Philippine River Day that will coincide with the International Water Day celebration.
“The commemoration of the Philippine River Day will give us a venue to unite our efforts to save our rivers and remind us of our duty to the environment –a duty that we must fulfil every day”, the President said.
Bore out of the local government’s initiative to address its own river problems, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog invited 900 scientific experts and river managers from United States, Canada, Korea, Japan and Vietnam, together with other civil society groups for a 3-day summit. The event opened opportunities for participants to discuss river development and sharing of best practices to help rehabilitate degraded water ways with active involvement from the private sector.
Following the success of the 1st Philippine International River Summit, the city of Marikina in Metro Manila will be hosting the second summit in 2014.
During his visit, President Aquino inaugurated the newly erected Iloilo city hall and Iloilo river esplanade which were completed through effective collaborative efforts of the public-private partnerships in Iloilo City.
He also led the distribution PhilHealth Cards to 63,425 beneficiaries from 180 barangays and 1,000 Certificate of Lot Award to the beneficiaries of the relocation site and housing project for the informal settlers affected by the Iloilo river development project.
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