Cervantes section of the Cervantes-Mankayan-Abatan Road

In line with the ongoing efforts to strengthen the government’s accountability to the people for its use of public funds, an impact evaluation study on the Cervantes-Mankayan-Abatan Road is presently being conducted by NEDA-CAR through the NEDA Research and Development Fund.

The subject road is part of the Cordillera Roads Improvement Project (CRIP) which is the Cordillera Region’s high priority infrastructure project that seeks to connect the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, and Cordillera regions.

Implemented from February 2008 to October 2010 by the DPWH Central Office, the Cervantes-Mankayan-Abatan Road is 31.302 kms. long and links the provinces of Ilocos Sur and Benguet.  It was funded by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and was constructed under Contract Package 5 (Php 747.5 M) of the Arterial Road Links Development Project (ARLDP) – Phase 5.

The road starts at the end of the Tagudin-Suyo-Cervantes Road at the town proper of Cervantes, Ilocos Sur, passes through rolling and mountainous terrain, and ends at the intersection of Halsema Highway in Abatan, Buguias, Benguet. It traverses the historic Bessang Pass in Cervantes, the mining areas of Lepanto Mining Corporation in Mankayan, Benguet, and the vast vegetable farms of Buguias.

The impact evaluation study aims to assess the road’s contribution to the attainment of the Cordillera’s development goal on physical integration, that is, to develop an efficient and reliable transportation and communication network to interconnect provincial capitals and major growth centers and build up the economic backbone of the region.

Specifically, the study looks into the socio-economic impacts of the completed road, focusing on its effects on social welfare; transportation and traffic; provincial and municipal development; trade, mining and tourism; agriculture; environment; and over-all welfare.

The study is expected to be completed by the end of the year.  MNadunop Development Studies is conducting the study for NEDA-CAR, while the latter monitors and supervises.  (drd/neda)