By Michael Umaming

Baguio City:  A report by the Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) showed that a total cost of P1.212 billion tourism roads had been allotted from the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for Cordillera Administrative Region.  This amount translates to 19 projects, 6 of which were funded from the 2012 GAA with a total cost of P197 million while 13 were funded from the 2013 GAA with a total cost of P1.015 billion.

The 2012 tourism road projects, with a total length of 12.73 kilometers, were located in this city and in the province of Benguet.  The projects were (with their specific lengths in kilometers) as follows: 

  1. M. Roxas St.,  Leonard Wood Road, Baguio City (0.35 kms.);
  2. North Drive, Leonard Wood Road, Baguio City  (0.18 kms.); 
  3. Ambangeg Road Junction-Mt. Pulag, Benguet (5.20 kms.); 
  4. Gurel-Bokod-Kabayan-Buguias-Abatan Road, Benguet (4.35 kms.); 
  5. Bengao-ngao Caves Road, Tublay, Benguet (2 kms); and
  6. Timbak Road, Kabayan, Benguet (0.65 km.).

The RPMC, an inter-agency body chaired by NEDA, reported that the two concreting road projects in Baguio City had been completed.  The improvement of Gurel-Bokod-Kabayan-Buguias-Abatan Road was still 21.9 percent done while the rest are above 50 percent finish with the improvement of the Timbac Caves Road nearly over at 92 percent. 

The 2013 tourism road projects, with a total length of 42.91, were as follows: 

  1. Road to Borikibok Spring Resort, Bucay, Abra (1 km.); 
  2. Claveria-Calanasan-Kabugao Road, Apayao (6.31 kms.); 
  3. Camp John Hay Gate 3 to Country Club and Happy Hollow to Loakan (0.5 km.); 
  4. Kisad Road-Gov Pack Bypass Road, BaguioCity (0.5 km); 
  5. Gurel-Bokod-Kabayan-Buguias-Abatan Road including Right of Way (3.03 kms.);  
  6. Ambangeg Road Junction-Mt. Pulag (2.5 kms.); 
  7. Ballay-Tabio-Tonoman-Bulalacao Road, Benguet (4.696 kms); 
  8. Ambiong-Lubas-Tawang-Road, La Trinidad, Benguet (2.5 kms.); 
  9. Kibungan-Kapangan-Ambongdolan-Tublay-La Trinidad Road, Benguet (6.29 kms.); 
  10. Ibulao-Jilungan Road, Ifugao (3.637 kms.); 
  11. Lagawe-Boliwong Road and Trail to Bintacan Cave, Ifugao (3.29 kms); 
  12. Dalican-Batad Road, Ifugao (2.66 kms); and
  13. Sabangan-Sagada Road, Mountain Province (5 kms).

Most of the 2013 road projects were below 20 percent complete since the projects just started.  However, the roads leading to Borikibok Spring Resort in Abra and the Camp John Hay Gate 3–Country Club–Happy Hollow–Loakan were already at 90 percent and 65 percent complete respectively.

The Kisad Road–Gov. Pack Bypass Road had been scheduled for realignment while the Lagawe-Boliwong Road and Trail to Bintacan Cave was for re-advertisement due to non-eligible bidders.  The Sabangan-Sagada Road was just provided a notice-to-proceed by the DPWH-CAR.

The development of tourism roads is a convergence program of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and DPWH in line with the government’s program to invigorate tourism and create jobs and livelihood.   Among the criteria for a tourism road is the presence of, not just one scenery but a circuit of sceneries, to the area where it leads to.