BONTOC, Mountain Province – The provincial government maintained its outstanding commitment to help augment the funds that had been earlier earmarked for the initially opening and eventual restoration of the huge road cut along Busa section of the Halsema Highway to bring back the speedy travel in and out of the province.
Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. said that the provincial government will only come in to provide the appropriate assistance after the Sabangan Municipal Government and the Department of Public Works and Highways – First Mountain Province District Engineering Office (DPWH-MPDEO) have already exhausted and implemented their commitments for the possible opening of the roadline to vehicular traffic.
He expressed the provincial government’s gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte for approving the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) for the release of the P52 million funding requirement to restore the huge road cut through various engineering interventions and the return of the pavement that could be traversed by the motorists.
While the DPWH will still be working on the conduct of the bidding process for the programmed works on the Busa section of the Halsema Highway, the governor suggested to the concerned government agency to pursue the earlier plan to use the available P5 million funds to open a portion of the road cutting through the mountain slope so that the same will be opened to light vehicles and that whatever additional funds that will be required to institute the completion of the works and added mitigating measures will be provided by the province through its available funds.
According to him, the approval of the release of the funds that had been previously committed for the restoration of the Busa section road cut was through the consolidated efforts of Rep. Maximo Dalog, Jr., the provincial government and the municipal government headed by Sabangan Mayor Marcial Lawilao, Jr. considering the importance of the restoration of the damaged portion of the region’s main highway leading to the different parts of the Cordillera.
Lacwasan added that once the Busa section of the road will be restored, travel time in and out of the province will be reduced by at least 30 minutes compared to the prevailing travel time wherein motorists have to pass through a longer route, particularly the Mabaay-Abatan-Nacagan just for them to be able to go in and out of the capital town.
The 80-meter deep and 170-meter long road cut along Busa section of the Halsema Highway was caused by the wrath of Supertyphoon Ompong that prevailed over most parts of Northern Luzon last September 15, 2018 and that since then the damaged portion of the road was never restored due to the absence of sufficient funds provided by the concerned government purpose for the restoration of the damaged portion of the national road.
Lacwasan appealed to motorists going in and out of the province to continue extending their patience in having to use more time in their travel considering that the DPWH and the provincial and municipal governments are now closely working together for the possible restoration of the road cut as the funds for the programmed restoration project have already been made available by the President.