by Ofelia C. Empian
A total of 63 road projects in the Cordillera are undergoing screening from the Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Public Works and Highways central office to be included as priority road projects in the 2018 budget.
Department of Trade and Industry-Cordillera Dir. Myrna Pablo said the road projects are part of the program called Roads Leveraging Linkages for Industry and Trade (ROLL) It aims to facilitate the growth of investments and other economic activities through the provision of roads leading to industries, enterprises and manufacturing and economic zones.
The program is a convergence project between the DTI and the DPWH and takes off from the success of the Department of Tourism and DPWH road convergence project, she said.
Pablo said the regional technical working group composed of the DTI-CAR and DPWH-CAR evaluated the proposals amounting to P19 billion.
She said there are seven projects for Abra, 14 for Apayao, seven for Benguet, 11 for Ifugao, 13 for Kalinga and 11 for Mountain Province. The biggest proposed amount came from Benguet and smallest from Ifugao.
The projects that passed the initial screening by the regional TWG was endorsed to the central TWG on March 29.
“Priority industries submitted are bamboo especially in Abra and coffee for all the provinces. Since this is agri-based, with the other food processing activities that are small in volume, we hope that with the roads built, we encourage more small SMEs to also venture into those businesses,” Pablo said.
She said with these roads, it would be a lot easier for the processors and sources of raw materials up to the market to converge.