BONTOC, Mountain Province – Rep. Maximo Y. Dalog, Jr. filed separate bills in the House of Representatives seeking the conversion of four provincial roads in the different parts of the province to national roads under the supervision, control and maintenance of the Department of Public works and Highways (DPWH).
Under the proposed bills, the Public works Secretary shall immediately include in the agency’s program the improvement, repair and maintenance of the provincial roads that were converted to national roads, the initial funding of which shall be charged to the unappropriated funds of the department under the General Appropriations Act.
Further, the bills stipulated that the amount necessary for the continued improvement and maintenance of the national roads shall be included in the annual budget of the agency.
Among the existing provincial roads that are being proposed for conversion to national roads include the Besao, Mountain Province – Tubo, Abra road, the Maba-ay – Abatan road, the Mountain Province – Benguet road via Guinzadan – Mankayan section and the Sagada – Besao – Quirino, Ilocos Sur road.
The Besao, Mountain Province – Tubo, Abra road is a road stretch which starts at the junction in barangay Kin-iway passing through barangays Tambuan and Dandanac, all in Besao town, then passes through Patiacan, Quirino, Ilocos Sur then exits in Tubo, Abra.
On the other hand, the Maba-ay – Abatan road is an 11.971-kilometer road stretch which starts at the junction in barangay Maba-ay along the Halsema highway passing through barangays Tapapan, Guinzadan and Abatan, all in Bauko, Mountain Province to connect to the Mountain Province – Ilocos Sur road The road serves as an alternate road whenever the Halsema highway closes due to natural calamities, especially during the onslaught of heavy rains.
Dalog disclosed that the Mountain Province – Benguet road via Guinzadan – Mankayan section is a road stretch which starts at the junction in barangay Guinzadan Central in Bauko town and traverses the barangays of Kagubatan, Pandayan, Bana-ao, Lenga, Dacudac and Sayapot, all of Tadian municipality, then exists at Barangay Balili, Mankayan, Benguet. The proposed conversion will serve as an alternate route of the inhabitants and farmers of both Mountain Province and Benguet to transport and trade their crops and goods to the different markets of both provinces as well as the trade centers of the nearby towns in the Ilocos region.
The Sagada – Besao – Quirino, Ilocos Sur is a 34.871-kilometer road stretch which starts at barangay Poblacion in Sagada and traverses barangays Poblacion, Suquib, Banguitan, Nacauang, Bunga, Catengan, Panabungen, Laylaya and Pangweo, all in Beso, then exists to Quirino, Ilocos Sur.
He pointed out that the conversion of the said road into a national road will benefit Mountain Province and Ilocos Sur, linking not only the two provinces but also the Cordillera and Ilocos Regions as well, particularly, trade and commerce between the people of the two regions will be significantly improved.
Moreover, Dalog stated that the said road will contribute and promote the tourism industry in the two provinces as the stretch of the road links Sagada, a known tourist destination in Mountain Province and Tirad Pass, a historical site in Quirino, Ilocos Sur.