TUBA, Benguet – Motorists and residents living in communities along Kennon Road recently demanded the immediate opening of the 34-kilometer roadline to help in reducing the tremendous traffic congestion along Marcos highway and bring back the vibrance of economic activities along the stretch of the road.
Sources, who opted not to be identified, lashed at the obvious insensitivity of officials of the Cordillera office of the Department of Public works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) and the Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) in ordering the closure of the road even during the prevalence of good weather which complicates the traffic in other alternate roads leading to Baguio city, especially during weekend, and deprive residents their chance to earn income for their families through various economic activities.
The sources claimed that the indecisiveness of DPWH-CAR and CDRRMC officials in opening Kennon road to vehicular traffic is allegedly directly or indirectly sabotaging the tourism industry of Baguio and some parts of Benguet because tourists who will be stocked in traffic along Marcos highway will have some second thoughts whether or not to come back to spend their desired break in the country’s Summer Capital.
“WE disagree that the whole stretch of Kennon road is unsafe but we agree that there are areas that are really critical. We have repeatedly recommended that the concerned government agencies and the contractors deploy people who will be stationed in the critical areas to manage the smooth flow of traffic instead of totally closing the whole stretch of the road that will affect the people living in the different communities along the roadline,”the source stressed.
On the other hand, the total closure of the road already resulted to the closure of numerous businesses along its stretch that deprived residents their source of income that will sustain the living condition of their families.
Moreover, numerous students already dropped from their classes while employees also gave up their jobs in Baguio because of the difficulty of going to and from their houses along Kennon road due to the unpredictable decision of authorities on the close-open situation of the road.
The sources challenged the concerned agencies to provide people living along the road with the needed assistance for them to sustain the living condition of their families considering that there are no longer economic activities in their places aside from the fact that students have stopped attending their classes.
According to them, the contractors who were awarded by the DPWH-CAR projects to implement along the damaged portions of the road are not allegedly capable in prosecuting their work and that they seem to be taking their time to complete their projects to the detriment of the welfare of the motorists and people living in communities along the road.
While people in the area do not object to the frequent closure of the road during the rainy season, the sources asserted that concerned authorities must be considerate on the plight of the motorists to make sure that the road will be open to vehicular traffic to reduce the tremendous traffic jams along Marcos highway apart from the fact that the proposed alternate route, the Tubao-Asin-Nangalisan-Baguio route that was highly advertised, never materialized because travel in the area is much longer. By HENT