MANKAYAN, Benguet – The municipal government requested the management of the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company (LCMC) to cede to the municipality a 3-kilometer road to allow the same to be properly maintained using public funds that will guarantee both residents and visitors convenient travel going in and out of the town.
Mayor Frenzel Ayong said that the 3-kilometer road from Tubo up to the mine site of Lepanto is still considered a private property because it is still in the name of the mining company that is why the municipal government cannot use public funds and equipment to properly maintain the same.
“We are simply awaiting the action of Lepanto to our previous request to cede the road lot to the municipal government through a deed of usufruct so that we can help maintain the good condition of the road with the use of available public funds for the convenient travel of motorists going in and out of the locality,” Mayor Ayong stressed.
The municipal chief executive claimed the asphalt road had been properly maintained in the past considering that the same had been used by the people since the 1930s but with the abolition of the so-called ‘road gang,’ the condition of the road allegedly deteriorated.
However, Ayong explained that the municipal government cannot use public funds and equipment to maintain the condition of the road because the same is not part of the town’s public road network, thus, the need for the mining company to decide on the matter so that the municipal government can help in maintaining the good condition of the road for the benefit of the public using the same in going in and out of the municipality.
According to him, when the members of the ‘ road gang’ were still active, potholes were immediately patched up but since the abolition of the same, it is now taking some time for the potholes on the road to be patched up causing inconvenience among the motoring public.
Ayong emphasized once the mining company executes the required deed of usufruct on the private road in favor of the municipal government, problems that may transpire can be easily acted upon by the concerned offices of the municipal government as it will have the legal basis in using government resources to ensure the proper maintenance of the roadline.
He asserted the municipal government wants to immediately act on problems that transpire along the road but the hands of concerned officials are tied because public funds are not allowed to be used for the operation, maintenance and improvement of the roadline which is situated right within the heart of the municipality and the company’s mine site.
Mankayan is one of the 5 first-class municipalities and one of the three local governments that rely on mining as its primary source of internally and externally generated funds from the operation of mining companies that are within their areas of jurisdiction.
Ayong expressed confidence on the mining company’s positive response to the municipal government’s request considering the snowballing clamor of motorists for the road to be properly maintained.