LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The concreting of at least 475 kilometers of national roads in the different parts of this vegetable-producing province will be completed next year in order to significantly improve inter-provincial and inter-regional linkages that will contribute in spurring economic growth in the remote villages here.
Rep. Ronald M. Cosalan, chairman of the House committee on public works, said aside from Marcos highway, Naguilian road, Kennon road, Halsema highway Abatan-Mankayan-Cervantes road and the Benguet Nueva Vizcaya road which were fully concreted during the previous administrations, the present administration was able to pave the Gorel-Kabayan-Abatan road, Shilan-Beckel road and Tawang-Lubas-Ambiong road.
He disclosed programmed for the completion of concreting works this year and next year are the Acop-Papangan-Kibungan-Bakun road, Baguio-Asin-Nagalisan-San Pascual-Aringay road, Abatan-Sebang-Manhoyohoy-Benguet boundary road and various tourism roads that will complete the link of the province to neighboring provinces and regions
Cosalan added the nationalization of the Natubleng-Nabalicong-Pacso, Kabayan road that will link up with the Gorel-Bokod-Kabayan road will also be completed by the end of next year considering that funds will be infused to complete development works along all major roads in the province which will be the legacy of President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III.
“The primary beneficiaries of our better roads will be the motorists and commuters, especially the farmers bringing their goods to the nearest markets that will contribute in lessening the transport cost of their goods,” Cosalan stressed.
The Benguet lawmaker added considering that the development of roads in the lowlands does not incur substantial amount from the national government, mountain roads like the roads in the Cordillera continue to be getting substantial allocations that guarantee better road conditions once the President steps down from power by the middle of next year.
Since the government embarked on aggressive infrastructure program four years ago, Benguet is one of the provinces that received substantial appropriations for infrastructure development because of the need to improve the road conditions beneficial to the robust growth of the vegetable industry which is the major source of livelihood of over 250m000 individuals from the 13 municipalities of the province.
According to him, one of the priorities will be to link Benguet with La Union through an arterial road like the Baguio-Asin-Nangalisan-San Pascual-Aringay, La Union road, thus, he is closely working with La Union 2nd district Rep. Eufranio Eriguel for the sourcing out of funds for the construction of a 350-lineal meters bridge in order to complete the linkage of both provinces.
He said the government currently needs at least P35 million to concrete one kilometre of road that is 111 inches thick and P1 million for the construction of every lineal meter of bridge that is why congressmen are trying their best to remedy the situation by programming huge projects in their congressional districts to be undertaken by phases so that there will be substantial accomplishments in their respective congressional districts when the present administration steps down from power next year.
By Dexter A. See