January 30, 2023

The Cordillera Regional Development Council Infrastructure Development Committee, chaired by Department of Public Works and Highways-Cordillera Director Khadaffy Tanggol reported that about 42 kilometers or 1.9 percent of national roads in the region remain unpaved.

Kalinga has 16.4 kms of unpaved roads. The longest stretch is in the Lubuagan-Batong Buhay-Abra Road from Kalinga to Abra with 14.55 kilometers unpaved.

Apayao and Mountain Province have 14.5 kms and 5.6 kms unpaved roads, respectively.

Road paving and maintenance remains a problem in the Cordillera due to the constant threat of rainfall-induced landslides and flashfloods near river basins.

DPWH Usec. Maria Catalina Cabral reminded DPWH-Cordillera that roads in the region must be compliant with the guidelines on building and road works on geo-hazard areas.

According to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Cordillera, the national classifications and standards categorize about 90 percent of the Cordillera as geo-hazard areas. This concern is being addressed through joint inspections by the MGB and DPWH regional offices.

Inspections on proposed project sites involve geologists from both agencies who validate and recommend project plan changes to address geo-hazard threats and concerns.

Through these efforts, 33 of the 39 proposed infrastructure project sites of DPWH-Cordillera for 2021 were certified as “not included in high hazard or no build zone areas” by the MGB.

The Cordillera Regional Project Monitoring Evaluation System reported that 129 road subprojects amounting to P2.6 billion were flagged for various levels of delay because of Covid-19 restrictions in the second quarter of 2020 alone.

The Infrastructure Development Committee of the RDC reviews and endorses infrastructure programs that contribute to the development of the region, monitors and evaluates the implementation of regional infrastructure programs, formulates infrastructure development plans, and recommends policies in the sector to help accelerate regional development in the Cordillera. – Marlo Lubguban