TABUK CITY, KALINGA – The provincial government was able to acquire a grant from the national government amounting to more than P220 million under the Department of Tourism- Department of Public Works and Highways (DOT-DPWH) convergence program which will be used for the development of vital roads leading to various tourism sites in the different parts of the province.
The vital road projects include the P144-million Bulo-Nawoy Road leading to the Bulo-Nawoy Rice Terraces in Balantoy, Balbalan; the P65 million Macutay-Green Hills-San Pedro and San Vicente Access Road leading to the Elephant Hill Archaeological Tourism Site in Rizal; and the P11 million access road to the Uguid Subterranean Tourist Destination in Balbalan.
“These roads will open livelihood opportunities to the people in the communities, particularly those involved in the tourism industry,” Tourism Operations Officer Dionica Alyssa Mercado said in a text message.
Mercado said that the roads will increase tourist arrivals in the areas and make it easier for people in neighboring provinces such as Abra, Ilocos, and Cagayan to visit Kalinga.
The P220 million grant is a portion of the over P3 billion worth of road projects originally proposed by the Provincial Development of Council (PDC) under the DOT-DPWH convergence program. Out of 16 projects endorsed to the DOT-CAR in January, only the 3 projects were approved for funding in 2018 while the unfunded projects will be considered by the agency for funding in the coming years provided that the local government will be able to update the status of the proposed projects that were submitted to the agency.
The PDC said that the general reason the other municipalities were not able to get the approval for their proposals is because of incomplete requirements. “The requirements tend to be laborious, which is why some LGUs failed to complete it on time,” said Planning Officer III Alice Busiley.
Nevertheless, the PDC is optimistic that Kalinga will be able to fund all 16 road projects during the run of the DOT-DPWH convergence program. “The LGUs were very active and cooperative with the PDC when they were preparing their requirements. We’re sure that if they keep this determination, their proposals will eventually get approved,” Busiley said.
The other road projects proposed by the PDC include the P270 million Bugnay (Mangape)-Buscalan-Loccong-Butbut Proper Road and the P855 million Butbut Proper-Tulgao-Dananao-Sumadel-Mallango Road in Tinglayan; the P116 million access road from Lubuagan-Batongbuhay National Road in Lubuagan; the P308 million Limood-Amdalao-Guinaang Road, the P58 million Lubuagan-Batongbuhay Road Junction-Dangtalan-Amdalao Road and the P541 million Balatoc-Batongbuhay-Colayo road in Pasil; the Wagud-Aciga-Tawang-Buaya Road in Pinukpuk; the P429 million road opening of Bagwang to Tawang in Balbalan; and the P223 million Pinagan-Magnao-Guilayon-Nambucayan Road, the P20 million Bulanao-Paracelis Road, the P77 million Balawag-Paligatto access road, and the P460 million Lubo-Dacalan Road in Tabuk City.
By Iryll Gay O. Sicnao