TUBA, Benguet – The national government will earmark a total of P5.5 billion to complete the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) outer circumferential road to spur economic growth in the various communities surrounding the well-developed chartered City of Baguio.
Rep. Ronald M. Cosalan said the construction of the outer circumferential road from Tublay to Sablan will start next year with the inclusion of P5 million in the 2017 national budget to jumpstart the ambitious road network project that will inter-connect the BLISTT communities.
By 2018, the lawmaker revealed funding will be worked out to continue the project to connect Sablan to Tuba through barangays Bayabas and Nangalisan then the next phase will inter-connect Tuba and Itogon, and eventually Itogon and Tublay.
“We no longer have problems in the building of the road networks in Baguio and La Trinidad because the inner circumferential road project inter-connecting the said urban centers have already been complete. We just have to pursue the major infrastructure development in the remaining areas of BLISTT to attract the more investors that will improve the economic activities in the said places, Cosalan stressed.
However, Cosalan underscored the counterpart of the concerned local governments in the outer circumferential road project is to guarantee that the areas to be traversed by the roadline will be free from road-right-of-way problems to avoid unnecessary delays in the completion of the project within the prescribed three-year period.
According to him, what is needed now is for the cooperation of the BLISTT officials in realising the major road project to spur economic activities that will translate to increased job generation, sources of livelihood and infrastructure, agriculture and ecotourism growth in the areas to be traversed by the roadline aside from serving as an alternate route in going around the BLISTT communities and reduce the worsening traffic congestions in the Baguio and La Trinidad areas.
Earlier, the Regional Development Council (RDC) In the Cordillera approved the proposal of the BLISTT Governing Council composed of all local chief executives in the BLISTT for the construction of the BLISTT circumferential road to boost the economic growth of the various communities within the localities.
Cosalan pointed out the existence of the BLISTT Governing Council is already operationalizing the BLISTT growth concept, thus, the local governments must already start crafting the pertinent rules and regulations to help realise the long overdue need to decongest Baguio City and La Trinidad and to guarantee the spread of development in other localities.
He emphasized the local officials of the Benguet municipalities must make sure that the operation of the BLISTT will not be a one-sided affair but also a two-sided growth concept to strike a balance in the state of development in the said areas.