May 23, 2024

The rehabilitation of Kennon Road is one of the priority projects under the public-private partnership (PPP) under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.

This after the Department of Public Works and Highways announced on July 11 that P12.45 billion will be allotted for the rehabilitation of Kennon Road, the shortest route going in and out of Baguio City and the rest of the Cordillera.

“We thank President Bongbong Marcos for heeding our call to prioritize Benguet, particularly the rehabilitation of Kennon Road. This upcoming project will spur growth in Benguet, including Baguio and nearby provinces,” Benguet Rep. Eric Yap said.

Former President Rodrigo Duterte signed in January Republic Act 11604, mandating the full rehabilitation and maintenance of Kennon Road to make it an “all-weather road”.

The DPWH has been required by law to implement and supervise the full rehabilitation and maintenance of Kennon Road, including the conduct of technical and engineering study and the determination of the extent and duration of the project.

Built by the Americans in the 1900s, Kennon Road has been undergoing major rehabilitation by phase since it was destroyed during the 1990 earthquake. The road was fully closed to motorists during the pandemic and reopened in April 2021. 

Earlier, the DPWH-Cordillera has submitted to the central office the P38-B worth of project proposal to rehabilitate Kennon Road.

The proposed full rehabilitation will cover rock netting, construction of a viaduct, tunneling system, and a sabo dam at the demonstration dam, which will make it passable to all vehicles even during inclement weather.

The DPWH-CAR has estimated that P3.6B is needed to repair the 21 critical sections of the 33-kilometer road.

Aside from the full rehabilitation of Kennon, Yap is also pushing for the improvement of major road networks in the province including the installation of safety devices and road barriers that will help guide motorists when traversing the major highways in the province.

“I keep wondering bakit masyadong matagal na nakasara ‘yung Kennon to the public when I first came as a caretaker that’s why we initiated the funding for the demonstration bridge, of which, its construction is in full swing now. The next few years will be crucial to Benguet’s development as we embark on this massive project to be funded by the national government,” Yap said.

Yap added other road opening projects in the interior parts of the province will be prioritized in the national budget in the coming years. – Harley F. Palangchao