June 23, 2024

■  Hanna C. Lacsamana

Close to 240 kilometers of roads along with other high-impact infrastructure projects have been built in the Cordillera, transforming not only the physical landscape but have also created jobs, fostered innovation, and promoted sustainable development in the region.

DPWH-Cordillera Director Khadaffy Tanggol reported the region has also achieved one of the fastest growth rates in regional and gross regional domestic product in the country, recording 6.9 percent increase from 2022 to 2023, which underscores the Cordillera’s dynamic economic landscape and the effectiveness of the agency’s strategic initiatives.

He said the Cordillera has been allotted P35 billion for the implementation of its projects for 2024, aside from its convergences with different regional departments whose projects are implemented by DPWH.

As of this year, a total of 239 kilometers of roads have been constructed, maintained, widened, upgraded, and rehabilitated; 12 bridges were upgraded, rehabilitated and strengthened; and 68,528 kilometers of flood control structures constructed and maintained.

Around 17.09 kms. of roads were constructed and improved leading to declaration of tourist destinations in concerned areas and 15.53 kms. of roads were constructed and improved leading to trades, industries, and economic zones;

There are 296 school buildings and classrooms that were completed; 390 kms. of roads were constructed connecting roads to indigenous communities and strategic public buildings; 147 rainwater collectors and water supply were constructed and rehabilitated; and 151 multipurpose buildings constructed.

These projects have led to the ge-neration of 22,930 jobs in the region.

Among the high- impact projects are the BLISTT outer ring circumferential road in Benguet.

There is also the 1,154-km. Cordillera Roads Improvement Project, which aims to establish a road backbone that will connect all provincial and major growth centers in the region.

As of December 2023, 99.45 of the roads have been paved.

The CRIP practically interlinked almost all provinces in the region and nearby regions, minimizing travel times.

Tanggol said Cordillera provinces may now be reached without having to pass through Regions 1 and 2.

Other high-impact projects are the construction of rainwater harvesting and treatment facility at Busol watershed in Barangay Ambiong, Baguio City; construction of Apayao-Abulug River basin flood control structure in San Sebastian, Luna, Apayao; Aguinaldo-Tobloy-Natonin Road in Aguinaldo, Ifugao; construction of Abra-Kalinga-Apayao Road along Aciga (Pinukpuk)-Tawang-Buaya-Mabaca (Balbalan section) in Kalinga; and construction of bypass and diversion roads, Chico Karayan Bridge, Lanao-Tiktik and Lagangeo bypass road in Mountain Province.

Tanggol said these accomplishments demonstrate the agency’s dedication to building a stronger, more connected, and prosperous region as he committed they will continue to deliver projects that meet the needs of the communities and support the region’s long term development goals.

“We recognize the critical role that the robust infrastructure plays in guiding economic growth, enhancing public safety, and improving the quality of life of communities,” he said, adding they will accomplish new projects and initiatives that will further enhance the region’s infra capabilities.

“These efforts are designed to meet the demands of our rapidly growing population and economy while ensuring that our infrastructures are resilient and future-proof,” he said.