LUNA, Apayao – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has given its nod to a significant infrastructure enhancement in the province, marking the integration of the Tanglagan-Bucarot Road (Calanasan) and the Buluan-Banban-Puguin-Sacpil Road (Conner) into the national road network under the stewardship of DPWH.
This pivotal decision was conveyed through Memoranda dated August 1 and August 2, 2023, issued by the Central Office Planning Service, directing the Apayao First District Engineering Office (AFDEO) and the Apayao Second District Engineering Office (ASDEO) to assume jurisdiction and oversee the development of these roads within the Roads and Bridge Information Application (RBIA) framework of the Department.
The transition of these two local roads into national roads reflects a strategic priority championed by Governor Elias C. Bulut, Jr. and Congresswoman Eleanor C. Bulut-Begtang, who have consistently allocated funds to enhance and maintain the roads in alignment with the department’s stringent technical and functional criteria. These officials have also engaged with key figures such as Sec. Manny Bonoan and then Acting Sec. Roger Mercado, effectively conveying the importance of these roads in bolstering connectivity with neighboring provinces such as Kalinga and Abra as well as with Ilocos Norte through the municipalities of Adams and Pagudpud.
The Buluan-Banban-Puguin-Sacpil Road, now designated as the Apayao-Kalinga-Abra Road, spans a distance of 16 kilometers, providing a more efficient and accessible route between Upper Apayao and Kalinga. Meanwhile, the Tanglagan-Bucarot Section, now identified as the Calanasan-Adams-Pagudpud Road, extends over five kilometers and offers an alternative pathway for travel to Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte via Calanasan. This newly integrated segment connects the Claveria-Calanasan Road and the Apayao (Calanasan) – Ilocos Norte Road, serving as a vital link for regional transportation.
Bulut-Begtang expressed her gratitude to the DPWH for the release of the Memorandum Implementing Department Order No. 123, series of 2022, and Department Order No. 81, series of 2023, which officially transform the two local roads into national roads. She also commended the dedication of District Engineer Januario S. Garde (AFDEO), District Engineer Ronalyn Ubina (ASDEO), and local government officials for their role in maintaining the roads in excellent condition and facilitating the necessary right of way.
With this significant development, the province anticipates a resurgence of inter-provincial and inter-regional exchanges within the domains of tourism, commerce, and trade, promising a bright future for Apayao and its neighboring regions. By JCM