BAGUIO CITY – More than ninety six percent of the major national roads linking the various provinces in the Cordillera are already paved for the convenient travel of motorists inside and outside the region.
Engr. Angelita Mabitasan, chief of the planning division of the Cordillera office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-CAR), disclosed that some 2,307 kilometers out of the 2,600 kilometers of national roads in the different parts of the region have already been concreted pursuant to the Cordillera Road Improvement Program (CRIP), the blueprint of the development of all roads connecting the different parts of the region.
She claimed that the Cordillera had been benefitting from the implementation of the various flagship programs of the previous administrations with the concreting of most of the region’s national roads for the benefit of the increasing number of travelers wanting to move in and out of the region coupled with its contribution to the growth and progress of communities traversed by the said road networks.
However, Mabitasan stipulated that there is still a long way to go in terms of the concreting of lateral roads connecting to the major national road networks because there are numerous pending requests for the conversion of local roads to national roads due to the inadequate funds of local governments to maintain these local roads under their respective jurisdiction.
The DPWH-CAR official revealed that the agency will still continue providing the funds for its convergence projects with other agencies such as the Tourism Road Improvement Project for Convergence (TRIPC) with the Department of Tourism (DOT) the farm-to-market roads with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the road Leading and Leveraging Industries and Trade (ROLL-IT) program with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
According to her, Cordillerans are now enjoying convenient travel to and from the different parts of the region because of mostly paved roads that have also contributed in spurring the economic activities and sources of livelihood in the various areas traversed by the concreted national roads.
The near completion of the concreting of major national roads in the region will be realized only after more than 3 decades that the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) had existed since its establishment as a special temporary administrative region on July 15, 1987 by virtue of Executive Order (EO) No. 220 issued by former President Corazon C. Aquino.
Mabitasan stipulated that funds for the various infrastructure projects in the different parts of the region will continue to be allocated by the agency pursuant to established guidelines, rules and regulations since local projects have already been left to the jurisdiction of local governments pursuant to the Supreme Court (SC) on the Mandanas-Garcia doctrine.
The CAR was established purposely to administer the affairs of the national government in the region; to ensure the socio-economic development of the region and more importantly, to prepare the region for the long overdue autonomy pursuant to the pertinent provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution that mandated the establishment of autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordillera.