More Benguet roads to be nationalized

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet  – Rep. Ronald M. Cosalan is proposing the nationalization of two more provincial and secondary national arterial roads to allow the allocation of funds from the national government for their upgrading.

Cosalan, who was the former chairman of the House committee on public works and highways from 2010 to 2016, said the three local roads that should be nationalized are the Madaymen-Sagpat provincial road in Kibungan, the Labey provincial road in Atok and the Natubleng-Nabalicong-Pacso road in Buguias and Kabayan.

However, the lawmaker claimed he is studying how the said roads can qualify for conversion to national roads considering that the said roadlines are less than 20 kilometers in length and they do not connect two towns located in different provinces.

“We want to make sure that most of our roads are provided with funding to improve their condition from gravel to concrete pavement so that local residents and visitors will be guaranteed convenient and stress-free travel around the numerous tourist destinations provincewide,” Cosalan stressed.

The three-term lawmaker added he will make sure that all national and secondary national arterial roads in the province will be widened and paved before his term will end so farmers have the chance to market their agricultural produce efficiently and for travellers to reach their destinations more easily compared to previous years when the roads were not yet rehabilitated.

Among the national roads that underwent significant rehabilitation over the past several years include the Acop-Kapangan-Kibungan-Bakun-Buguias road, the Gorel-Bokod-Kabayan-Abatan road, the Baguio-Asin-San Pascual-Aringay road, the Buguias-Manhoyohoy-Tinoc boundary road, the Shilan-Beckel road and the Ambiong-Tawang-Lubas road.

Under existing guidelines of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), local roads that can be converted to national status should have a length of at least 20 kilometers, the roads interconnect two municipalities in different provinces or two capital towns, among others.

Aside from the local roads that were converted to national roads, the existing national roads in the province include the Baguio-Bontoc-Banaue road or the Halsema highway, the Palispis-Aspiras highway or the Marcos highway, the Naguilian road, Kennon road, the Benguet-Nueva Vizcaya road, the Pico-Lamtang road and the Abatan-Mankayan-Cervantes road.

He disclosed he will be filing the bills converting various roads in the different parts of the province to national roads and it will be up to the concerned House and Senate committees to appreciate the importance of uplifting the status of the various roads around the province so that the national government will be annually allocating the needed funds for their maintenance.

Because of improved road conditions not only in the province but also in neighboring provinces, Cosalan stressed it will be the farmers that will primarily benefit from the improved road conditions because their agricultural produce can be transpoted much easier with lesser damages and their vehicles will entail less maintenance.

By HENT

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