This, despite petitions by the graft-watch group Bacosh (Boholanos Against Corruption, Oppression and Social Harassment) that civil works should be suspended while a case is still pending at the Ombudsman which accused the project's former manager Engr. Calixto Seroje and 4 other National Irrigation Authority (NIA) officials of irregularities in implementing the project.
Interviewed over DYRD Inyong Alagad yesterday, NIA project manager Engr. Modesto Membreve bared that starting June next year, the irrigation project will start impounding water in order to finally serve 1,000 hectares and some 1,000 within its service area.
The canals going to the farmlands will be finished simultaneously with dam embankment, Membreve said.
The Talibon Dam, which can hold 5 million cubic meters of water in its reservoir, has an estimated cost of P299 million, as stated in its revised budget for contract, which was formulated during the time of then project manager Seroje.
Membreve was quick to put off discussions on the controversy hounding the Talibon Dam, saying that when he took over as project manager in 2003, he requested that he will start from zero, meaning he civil works during his watch be treated separately from whatever the percentage of completion of the project during his predecessor.
According to Membreve the delay of the project is caused by the small allocation it is getting from the national government.
However, he has been lobbying to top NIA officials that fund releases be increased in the coming months to meet the June 2009 deadline.