LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Rep. Ronald M. Cosalan announced that some P4.3 billion worth of hard and soft infrastructure projects were included in the priority programs of various government agencies which will be implemented solely in Benguet province next year.
The lawmaker explained at least P4 billion was included in the annual budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to fund the repair, rehabilitation, upgrading and concreting of various national roads and bridges province-wide while some P300 million were spread out in the different agencies purposely for the upgrading of farm to market roads, construction of school buildings, improvement of agrarian reform communities, scholarship grant to poor but deserving students and the provision of basic health services and livelihood programs, among others.
“We are elated that Benguet was allocated substantial funding support for our priority projects, especially the sustained improvement of our national roads, secondary national arterial roads and bridges to enhance the inter-municipal, inter-provincial and inter-regional connectivity that will guarantee the timely delivery of agricultural crops from the farms to the prospective markets inside and outside the region,” Cosalan stressed.
In 2017, Benguet got more than P3.3 billion worth of various hard and soft infrastructure projects implemented in the different parts of the province by various agencies.
He is optimistic that the P3.767 trillion national budget approved by the House of Representatives will not be significantly changed during the budget deliberations in the Senate so that the identified priority projects in Benguet will not be changed as the province needs the completion of all existing national roads and bridges to guarantee the uninterrupted delivery of goods and services inside and outside the province.
According to him, the inclusion of the province’s priority projects for funding under next year’s budget was an offshoot of the representations he made to the various government agencies to sustain the infrastructure development in the countryside as Benguet supplies some 80 percent of the demand of highland vegetables.
Cosalan pointed out farmers from the countryside will directly and indirectly benefit from the significant improvement of inter-municipal, inter-provincial and inter-regional connectivity because the transportation cost of the agricultural produce of farmers will be lessened with more paved roads in the future.
With the lesser cost of transportation of agricultural crops from the farms to the trading centers, he underscored farmers will be guaranteed increased income and spur economic growth in the rural areas.
The three-term lawmaker claimed almost all national roads and secondary national arterial roads will be upgraded to paved roads once the allocated funds for next year’s projects will be implemented that will result to better and more convenient travel around the province in the future.