BAGUIO CITY – City and provincial officials believe that the putting in place of major infrastructure interconnecting the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) communities will spur tourism and economic development within the concerned localities.
Former Rep. Bernardo M. Vergara cited the completion of the western and eastern links of the Baguio circumferential road has contributed in easing the worsening traffic congestions in the city’s central business district area, thus, the need to develop more roadlines that will interconnect the city and its neighboring towns of La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay.
“With the completion of the interior circumferential road, there is also a need for the construction of the exterior circumferential road that will interconnect the concerned localities so that visitors will be enticed to go around the BLISTT and explore other scenic spots aside from Baguio, Vergara stressed.
The former city lawmaker agreed to the contention that the put up of alternate routes to the neighboring localities will open the floodgates for increased economic activities, job generation and improved sources of livelihood that will make the BLISTT a potential business hub in the region.
For his part, Benguet Rep. Ronald M. Cosalan, who is the chairman of the House committee on public works, said that the Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera already endorsed for funding the proposed BLISTT circumferential road which will be one of his priorities in the next Congress.
He claimed economic growth could not be achieved in the BLISTT without good quality infrastructure in order to be able to attract the influx of investors wanting to infuse and operate business opportunities that will provide increased sources of livelihood for the people in the area.
He agreed that one of the reasons why the Benguet towns are being left out in terms of ecotourism and economic development is the absence of good roads that will allow people to have easier access in going around the BLISTT communities.
According to him, the government must build roads through the provision of increased funding as the present administration was able to accomplish the improvement of national and secondary arterial roads.
It can be recalled that European urban planners who came to conduct a study of the growth and development in the area recommended the establishment of the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba growth area in order to cater to the expected development that will spur the economic growth of the said localities.
Lately, the RDC-CAR expanded the coverage of the BLIST to include the municipality of Tublay being one of the adjacent municipalities that would benefit from the numerous development projects awaiting to be implemented by the concerned government agencies.
In order to operationalize the BLISTT, the RDC-CAR created the BLISTT Governing Council composed of local executives of the involved municipalities to keep the ball rolling.
By Dexter A. See