ATOK, Benguet – The municipal government appealed to residents and motorists not to indiscriminately remove the installed solar studs along strategic portions of the Halsema Highway to ensure the safety of motorists passing through and individuals using the main road leading to the central Cordillera, especially during foggy situations.
Mayor Franklin Smith expressed his disappointment on the sudden disappearance of the installed solar studs and cat’s eye along critical portions of the Halsema highway over the past several weeks that pose a serious threat to the safety of motorists traveling in various critical portions of the road.
“We noticed that the installed solar studs and cat’s eye have been unscrupulously removed in the areas where they were earlier placed which now makes it difficult for first-time travelers to maneuver in critical sections of the Halsema highway, especially when thick fog covers the road. People living along the road and motorists should be responsible enough in guarding the solar studs from being unscrupulously dismantled by irresponsible individuals,” Mayor Smith stressed.
The municipal chief executive pointed out that the government spent significant amounts of public funds to install the solar studs that guide for motorists traveling at night or during visually-difficult times for them to be able to maneuver in critical sections, especially when thick fog covers the road in the afternoon and late evenings.
According to him, those who stole the installed solar studs should not wait that they or members of their families, their friends and relatives will encounter life-threatening accidents when traveling along the road before realizing that what they have done is wrong.
Mayor Smith lauded the public works department for prioritizing the installation of solar studs and solar lights in critical sections of the Halsema Highway because it provides motorists with the necessary guide when going to and from their desired destinations.
He pointed out that he could not comprehend why there are unscrupulous individuals who want to put to risk the safety of others by dismantling the installed solar studs that is why residents and motorists must be vigilant on what is happening along the roadline, especially during late nights, so that the said irresponsible people will be apprehended and made to suffer the consequences of their illegal acts.
Atok is one of the towns in Benguet that is traversed by the Baguio-Bontoc-Banaue Road, otherwise known as the Halsema Highway, which hosts the second highest point in the Philippine highway system located at Barangay Cattubo.
The mayor also directed personnel of the Atok Municipal Police Station to conduct routine patrol along the portions of the Halsema Highway within the town’s jurisdiction that had been installed with the solar studs to prevent unscrupulous individuals from stealing the important materials that are serving as guide for motorists.