Issue of December 18, 2011

102nd Baguio Day Anniversary Issue
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Kennon road rehab to spur Cordillera’s economic growth
by Dexter A. See

The proposed rehabilitation of Kennon Road, the shortest route to and from Baguio City, through the Aquino administration’s public-private partnership will help attract more investors in Cordillera, Rep. Bernardo Vergara said Tuesday.

“We had already made representations with the management of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority through its chair Felicisimo Payumo for the state-run corporation to upgrade and rehabilitate the scenic and historic road,” Vergara said.

He added that the BCDA will undertake the feasibility study on the road to ascertain the kind of development to be introduced in order to make it an “all-weather road.”

Kennon Road is one of the three major access roads that lead up to Baguio City from Manila and the provinces in the central and western parts of Luzon. It connects the city with the town of Rosario, La Union. The other two roads are Marcos Highway from Agoo, La Union. Scenic sites along Kennon Road include the Bridal Veil Falls, Bued River gorge, Twin Peaks, Colorado Falls, a pedestrian suspension bridge, the sculptured limestone lion’s head, and the spectacular view from the observation deck at the upper end of Kennon Road.

Vergara, vice chair of the House committee on public works, said BCDA will be using the similar scheme it used to complete the 94-kilometer Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway to upgrade Kennon Road so that the 45-minute travel will be further reduced to at least 30 minutes which will serve as an added attraction not only for tourists but also for future investors.

Kennon Road was ordered built by American Governor General William Cameron Forbes in 1901.

Although originally called Benguet Road, it was named after U.S. Army Colonel Lyman Kennon who was its final builder. With the labor of Igorots and some foreign workers, the road was completed in 1903 and has since become a major route to Baguio City.

“The inter-connection of an upgraded Kennon Road and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway will definitely be a big boost to our tourism industry and our desire to attract more investors to infuse their capital to the city’s economy. We will do our best to provide the necessary assistance to BCDA in order to complete the rehabilitation of Kennon Road,” Vergara added.

Kennon Road is characterized by steep and winding curves that serve as a natural attraction for motorists and visitors who want to drive through it and hurdle the challenge of driving along the zig-zagging road.

Vergara supports the planned declaration of the  road as a national heritage to help preserve it as part of the country’s rich historical and cultural heritage.

Because of the natural wear and tear aggravated by earthquakes and typhoons over the past 100 years, Vergara said the government continues to spend millions to maintain it as passage for light vehicles purposely to enhance the growth of the local tourism industry.

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Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Benguet

Baguio Central University
Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Congressman Eric Yap
Congressman Mark Go
Department of Labor and Employment – CAR
Department of Trade and Industry – CAR
Mayor Romeo K. Salda
National Grid Corporation of the Philippines
Pines City Colleges

Amare La Cucina
Assumption Medical Diagnostic Center, Inc.
Baguio Center Mall
Baguio Water District
Bruno’s Restaurant
Bureau of Fisheries and Acquatic Resources – CAR
C & Triple A Supermart
Department of Agriculture – CAR
Department of Transportation
Gov. Melchor D. Diclas, MD
John Hay Management Corporation
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong
MV Alabanza
Rianella Printing Press
Veterans Bank
Vice Mayor Faustino A. Olowan and Family

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