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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Benguet Caretaker Congressman and Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap defended the P8 billion infrastructure funds for the province included in the appropriations of the public works department under the proposed P4.5 trillion annual budget of the national government next year.
Yap, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations, stated that he is not ashamed that Benguet was included in the purported horror list of Senator Panfilo M. Lacson on the districts with huge infrastructure appropriations next year because the same was submitted by the public works department as their priorities under the present administration’s Build, Build, Build program.
He explained that one of the reasons for the significant increase in the infrastructure appropriations for some congressional districts is the presence of major infrastructure projects of the present administration to be implemented by the central office of the public works department because they are flagship projects that were computed in addition to the various local infrastructure projects.
Congressman Yap reported that the projects identified in Benguet are mostly part of the outer circumferential road network of the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) growth area to help spur economic activities within the province that will be pivotal in generating jobs for the people and provided them additional sources of livelihood.
The lawmaker pointed out the funded projects are purely development projects beneficial to the greater welfare of the majority and that the same are not ghost projects as being insinuated by some lawmakers.
According to him, Benguet deserves to be provided with substantial infrastructure funding support from the national government to improve the state of infrastructure to enhance economic activities in the countryside and prevent further congestions in urban areas, like in the capital town of La Trinidad and Baguio City.
Congressman Yap claimed the infrastructure funds for the province will translate to better state of roads and bridges which will be instrumental for growth and development in the countryside so that people will not flock to the urban centers and contribute to the problems of rapid urbanization.
Congressman Yap asserted the identification of the priority development projects in the province passed through the stringent requirements of the public works department for the inclusion of their funding support in next year’s budget and there was no undue interference by the lawmakers as being alleged by some of their colleagues.
He stipulated that Benguet deserves the provided infrastructure funds because the province’s road network needs to be improved to speed up the delivery of agricultural crops from the remote farming communities to the nearest markets thus lessening transport costs of the produce and the damages to the crops. By HENT