P136 million Ifugao road opens gateway to historic tourism sites

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KIANGAN, Ifugao – Local residents and visitors can now freely move around the different historical sites in this world heritage town following the completion of the Ibulao-Julongan road, one of the Declared Strategic Tourism Destination (DSTD) roads in the province, in order to boost the growth of the local tourism industry in the province.
Engr. Edilberto P. Carabbacan, Regional Director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), said the newest tourism road project involves the concreting of the double lane road having a total length of 3.637 kilometers, road widening and installation of appropriate drainage facilities, construction of slope protection walls along the roadline and putting up of additional side structures.
“We want our roads leading to the interior parts of the region so that potential tourist destinations could be discovered for the benefit of spurring economic growth in the rural areas,” Carabbacan stressed.
He explained that the road passes through the historical World War II memorial shrine and museum, the Nagacadan rice terraces, or the well-known open air museum, and the Julungan rice terraces, all in the remote villages of this municipality.
The DPWH-CAR official cited the tourism road convergence project that seeks to develop most roads leading to tourism destinations is a major project of the DPWH, the Department of Tourism (DOT) and host local governments where the roads to be developed are located.
Kiangan has been known to be a World Heritage site because of its well-preserved rice terraces, aside from it being the site where Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita of the Japanese Imperial Army surrendered to combined American and Filipino forces on September 2, 1945.
Carabbacan expressed his gratitude to the provincial government of Ifugao and the municipal government of Kiangan for their assistance in the settlement of road-right-of-way problems that paved the way for the completion of the road project in time for the expected influx of foreign and domestic tourists during the summer season.
Since 2014, the Cordillera has been a recipient of over P2.3 billion which was used to fund the implementation of tourism roads leading to the different tourist destinations in order to sustain the region’s identity as a prime ecotourism destination in the country.
By next year, the region stands to receive another P1.1 billion from the DPWH-DOT tourism road projects to continuously develop more roads leading to untapped tourist destinations in Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province in order to sustain the influx of bigger number of foreign and domestic tourists to witness the unexplored scenery and beauty of the region.
Carabbacan said by 2016, both the implementing agencies target the concreting of at least 95 percent of the roads leading to tourism destinations in the different parts of the region aside from the concreting of major national roads and secondary arterial roads in order to contribute in enhancing the socio-economic development of remote communities that were deprived of economic activities over the past several decades.
“Better condition of roads will translate to better socio-economic condition in the countryside,” Carabbacan said.

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