Benguet caretaker backs rehabilitation of Kennon Road

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Benguet caretaker congressman and Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap assured concerned stakeholders of his support to the proposed rehabilitation of the scenic and historic Kennon Road, the shortest route from the lowlands to Baguio City and vice versa, to convert the same into an all-weather road beneficial for the motoring and commuting public, especially the people living in the established communities along the roadline.

Yap, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations, said that the former Benguet Road that was named after its builder, Arch. Lyman Kennon, needs to be fully rehabilitated to put an end to the prevailing difficulty of motorists and the people living in the different communities along the road to go in and out of their communities, especially during the rainy season when the road is usually closed to vehicular traffic.

He pointed out that the proposed rehabilitation of Kennon Road needs a huge funding requirement which the government cannot afford although the same could be done through the practice of the multi-year obligation of funds from the public works department.

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Congressman Yap disclosed there are also proposals to subject the same through privatization where interested toll operators will be required to develop the road and establish the toll gates that will operate and collect the required fees from motorists.

However, he claimed that privatizing the road might not be feasible, thus, the proposed rehabilitation will have to be undertaken through the provision of appropriate funds by the concerned government agencies to ensure the stability of the slopes to prevent the occurrence of soil erosions and landslides during the rainy season that impede the smooth flow of traffic along the major roadline.

According to him, Kennon Road was heavily damaged during the July 16, 1990 killer earthquake and the situation along the 34-kilometer roadline was never the same again because the stability of the slopes was significantly affected by the numerous soil erosion and landslides have long different road sections over the past three decades.

Rep. Yap recognized the significant contribution of Kennon Road in easing the travel from the lowlands to Baguio City and the Cordillera and vice versa aside from the scenic spots along the road that entice motorists to take the shortest route that is why sufficient funds must be annually infused for the eventual development of the major road network linking the highlands and the lowlands.

The Benguet caretaker congressman also expressed support to the proposal to declare the whole stretch of Kennon Road as heritage site or landmark because it will greatly contribute in the efforts to develop the same and maintain its status as a scenic and historic mountain road.

A larger portion of the 34-kilometer roadline is situated within Benguet while a few kilometers of the road is within Baguio City and some portions of the same is within La Union.

Rep. Yap said that the proposed rehabilitation of Kennon Road will be brought to the attention of public works officials to ensure their all-out support to rehabilitate the same the soonest to restore its previous status before the killer earthquake.

By Hent

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