DPWH told to prioritize roads linking BLISTT tourist spots

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BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved a resolution requesting the regional and district offices of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to strengthen their respective road improvement projects and prioritize the roads linking tourist destinations between Baguio City and the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) growth area.

The resolution authored by Councilor Maria Mylen Victoria G. Yaranon underscored the need for the concerned government agencies, like the DPWH regional and district offices, to make travel to the different tourist destinations within the BLISTT faster, safer, and more accessible to visitors for them to maximize their limited stay in the growth area.

Benguet, which Baguio is geographically a part of, boasts of a number of sites and attractions spread throughout the different parts of the vegetable-producing province where the said destinations could be reached by road linkages connecting the tourist spots.

The resolution notes the city government previously adopted a policy to re-shape its aggressive tourism promotions to make it a shared enterprise activity that is all-inclusive, which  benefits everyone, thus, the city had advocated for tourism dispersal under an equitably shared partnership within the BLISTT and encourage host communities to propagate a culture of tourism.

Section 2 of Republic Act (RA) 9593, otherwise known as the Tourism Act of 2009, affirms the State declares tourism as an indispensable element of the national economy and an industry of national interest and importance, which must be harnessed as an engine of socio-economic growth and cultural affirmation to generate investments, foreign exchange, and employment, and to continue to mold an enhanced sense of national pride for all Filipinos.

Section 3k of the same law provides that the State shall adopt a number of objectives specifically to promote the progressive development of existing civil aviation, land and sea transportation, policies as they relate to tourism.

Further, Section 16 of RA 7160, or the Local Government Code of the Philippines, provides every local government unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance and those which are essential for the promotion of the general welfare. Within their respective territorial jurisdictions, local government units shall ensure and support among other things, the preservation and enrichment of culture, promote health and safety, enhance the right of the people to a balanced ecology, encourage and support the development of appropriate and self-reliant  scientific and technological capabilities, improve public morals, enhance economic prosperity and social justice, promote full employment among their residents, maintain peace and order and preserve the conform and the convenience of their inhabitants.

Baguio City serves as a jump off point for visitors to other tourist destinations in the BLISTT and other parts of the Cordillera with the promotion of their tourist spots one of the major thrusts of the different local governments.

By Dexter A. See

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