April 14, 2024

An open letter to Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong

I respectfully write this open letter regarding a story titled, “DPWH says budget shortfall hampers Kennon Rd. rehab,” which was published in the May 2 issue of the Baguio Midland Courier.
Foremost, if I were a civil engineer working in the Department of Public Works and Highways, I would be ashamed of the statement, “The critical projects include the rehabilitation/reconstruction of roads with slips, road collapse and landslides; rocknetting/slope protection; replacement or reconstruction of the demonstration bridge; rehabilitation/channel excavation; and flood control along Bued River.”
This is an absolute lie. We traversed the 33-kilometer Kennon Road on April 29 and I did not see any repair works.
The dash cam of my vehicle cannot lie. Rehabilitation and repair are the same, but the DPWH is very good in inventing reasons for its interest.
The story also stated, “Dacwag said P3.2 billion has already been spent for the projects at Kennon Road undertaken since 2017.”
Again, if I were a civil engineer working in the DPWH, I will not disclose my alma mater. Why?
During the term of former President Gloria Arroyo, she initiated the funding of the rehabilitation/reconstruction of Halsema Road from La Trinidad, Benguet to Sinto, Bauko, Mountain Province, which was then an asphalt road, in the amount of P800 million. The total length of the highway that was rehabilitated from an asphalt road into a two-lane concrete road was around 73 kilometers.
Thereafter, Arroyo caused the funding of the rehabilitation/reconstruction of the Halsema Highway from Sinto to Bontoc spanning 40 kilometers and from Bontoc to the boundary of Kalinga spanning 25 kilometers. She also caused the funding of the rehabilitation of the Bontoc-Banaue Road spanning 25 kilometers, for a total length of 163 kilometers, more or less.
Meanwhile, Kennon Road is only 33 kilometers and the DPWH, in conspiracy with the Kennon Road task force, closed the road for more than two years and spent P3.2 billion, then wanted more funds.
I hope and pray that through the initiatives of your honorable office, Kennon Road will be fully opened to traffic, and the Task Force Kennon Road will be abolished as soon as possible.
To the honorable mayor Magalong, I strongly believe that you are a good friend of the President. So, please bring this matter to him. — JUNIPER DOMINGUEZ, Baguio City