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BAGUIO CITY – On September 29, The Cordillera Regional Development Council Infrastructure Development Committee, chaired by the Cordillera office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) Director Khadaffy Tanggol, reviewed the status of infrastructure projects in the region during their regular quarterly meeting in which DPWH-CAR reported that about 42 kilometers or 1.9% of our all national roads in the region remain are paved.
Kalinga has the least roads paved with 16.4 km remaining unpaved. Apayao and Mountain Province follow with 14.5 km and 5.6 km, respectively. The longest stretch of unpaved road is in the Lubuagan-Batong Buhay-Abra Road from Kalinga to Abra with 14.55 kilometers unpaved.
Road-paving and maintenance remains a problem in the Cordillera due to the constant threat of rainfall-induced landslides and flashfloods near river basins. DPWH Undersecretary Maria Catalina Cabral reminded DPWH-CAR that our roads in the region must be compliant with existing guidelines on building and roadworks on geo-hazard areas. According the Cordillera office of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-CAR), existing national classifications and standards categorize about 90% of the entire Cordillera Administrative Region as geo-hazard areas. This concern is currently being addressed through joint inspections by the MGB-CAR and DPWH-CAR. Inspections on proposed project sites involve geologists from both agencies who validate and recommend project plan changes to address geohazard threats and concerns.
Through these efforts, 33 of the 39 proposed infrastructure project sites of DPWH-CAR for 2021 were certified as “not included in high hazard or no build zone areas” by MGB.
Moreover, the Cordillera Regional Project Monitoring Evaluation System reported that 129 road subprojects amounting to P2.6 billion were flagged for various levels of delay because of Covid-19 restrictions in the 2nd quarter of 2020 alone.
The Infrastructure Development Committee of the RDC reviews and endorses infrastructure programs that contribute to the development of the region, monitors and evaluates the implementation of regional infrastructure programs, formulates infrastructure development plans, and recommends policies in the sector to help accelerate regional development in the Cordillera.
By Marlo Lubguban