LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Two major inter-provincial roadlines in the different parts of this vegetable-producing province are now undergoing rehabilitation pursuant to the Aquino administration’s goal of concreting all national roads by the end of his term next year.
Rep. Ronald M. Cosalan, chairman of the House committee on public works, said the P140 million rehabilitation of the Sebang-Manhhoyohoy-Tinco boundary and the P650 million upgrading of the Acop-Kapangan-Kibungan-Bakun-Buguias road are now underway in order to improve the Benguet side of inter-provincial road networks to help improve economic activities in the countryside.
“The huge funding that the different provinces of the Cordillera have received in terms of infrastructure development was a product of our unity and teamwork in lobbying for increased road development funds for our region,” Cosalan stressed.
He said the P140 million earmarked for the rehabilitation of the Buguias-Manhoyohoy-Tinoc boundary road is only good for the concreting of more or less 4 kilometers out of the more than 11-kilometer unconcreted portion of the roadline.
According to him, the government needs at least P36 million for the concreting of a kilometer of national road with 11 inches thickness, 6.15 meters wide with the completion of appropriate drainage systems among other important road components.
On the other hand, the P650 million earmarked for the concreting of the Acop-Kapangan-Kibungan-Bakun-Buguias road is only good for the completion of works for over 19 kilometers of the roadline, leaving more than 27 kilometers still unpaved and for funding next year.
Cosalan disclosed Cordillera congressmen will try to work out the increase of their respective allocations for infrastructure development next year so that all national roads within their congressional districts will be concreted that will contribute to increasing economic activities in the remote villages regionwide.
He cited one of the legalities that President Aquino will leave behind in the Cordillera is the concreting of national roads which must be appropriately utilized by the people in improving their living condition through the increase in the sources of livelihood for the people.
For Benguet, the lawmaker explained the concreted national roads and secondary arterial roads will guarantee the faster delivery of agricultural crops from the farms to the markets and will contribute in lessening the transportation cost of the products.
“We need better roads in order to improve the accessibility of the vegetables from our farms to the different markets,” Cosalan said.
He said some of the roadlines that will be prioritized for funding next year will be the Baguio-Asin-Aringay road in order to significantly improve the linkage of the province to nearby La Union and on the opportunities of increased trade and commerce among local businessmen in the said localities.
Aside from the regular infrastructure budget of the Department of Public works and Highways (DPWH), Cosalan revealed other sources of additional funding for infrastructure development would be the convergence projects of the tourism and public works departments for tourism road projects and farm to market roads by the agriculture department which have been downloaded to various local governments. By Dexter A. See