BAGUIO CITY – The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) will convene on Thursday, January 3, 2019 to assess the results of the inspections conducted of Kennon Road by concerned government agencies and the local government after it was temporarily opened to vehicular traffic exclusively for residents.
Earlier, the RDRRMC agreed to temporarily open the 34-kilometer roadline for the exclusive use of residents after the snowballing clamor from those living along the stretch of the road to allow them to use the road for egress from and entry to their communities without being unduly delayed.
For this, the RDRRMC imposed certain conditions for the temporary opening of the road including police visibility along the stretch of the road, presence of emergency medical service teams with ambulances, deployment of flagmen in critical portions of the road, assignment of representatives from the barangays and the municipal government to identify whether or not those in possession of temporary vehicle passes are bonafide residents of the villages along the road, and for project implementers to work round-the-clock in the prosecution of existing infrastructure projects in various sections of the road.
Engr. Tiburcio Canlas, regional director of the Cordillera Office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-CAR), claimed that all the observations they noted during their series of inspections along Kennon road will be discussed during the inter-agency consultative meeting scheduled on Thursday so that concerned government agencies and the local governments can act on specific issues that warrants their timely response.
He added that while the RDRRMC has not yet officially announced the formal opening of Kennon Road for the residents, Tuba Mayor Ignacio Rivera can still continue issuing the required temporary vehicle pass to motorists who are bonafide residents of the different barangays along the stretch of the road because the local chief executive and the barangay officials know who among their constituents own motor vehicles and thus qualified to be issued temporary pass.
“We will raise our observations during our upcoming inter-agency consultative meeting to avoid putting the blame on other agencies and the local governments for lapses that transpired when the road was temporarily opened for residents. We will take up all the matters when the representatives of the agencies and the local governments are present so that we can immediately address them rather than put the blame on them,” Canlas stressed.
Kennon Road was closed to vehicular traffic sometime in July following a series of incidents that caused the untimely death of innocent motorists and inflicted injuries to others apart from the damages that were sustained by motor vehicles when big boulders of rocks and landslides occurred in different portions of the road.
Canlas appealed to residents living in communities along Kennon Road to strictly adhere to the conditions imposed for the temporary opening of the road for their use to help lessen the exposure of the motoring public to hazards due to the on-going implementation of major projects along the road and the sudden occurrence of landslides.
By Dexter A. See
Banner photo by Kerby Rillera