The Regional Development Council in Cordillera Administrative Region (RDC CAR) Executive Committee (ExeCom) endorsed 112 major road projects for 2019 funding to the Secretaries of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Tourism (DOT) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) through Resolution Nos. 26 and 27 Series of 2018. This was during the RDC ExeCom’s meeting held recently in Baguio City.

Eighty-seven of these projects are under the DTI-DPWH Convergence Program or the Roads Levering Linkages of Industry and Trade (ROLL IT). Meanwhile, 25 projects are under the DOT-DPWH Convergence Program or the Tourism Road Infrastructure Program (TRIP). The latter was closely patterned from last year’s DTI-DOT-DPWH Convergence Program that led to the construction and improvement of roads leading to tourism destinations. These projects are expected to promote economic growth and infrastructure development especially in Cordillera’s remotest parts.

The ROLL IT Program aims to facilitate the growth of investments and other economic activities in the region through the construction of roads leading to industries, enterprises, and manufacturing and economic zones. It also aims to link infrastructure with DTI’s priority industries with a high potential to become globally competitive, innovative, and resilient. The 87 road project proposals in CAR under the Program are distributed as follows: Abra (13); Apayao (4); Benguet (13); Ifugao (7); Kalinga (32); and Mountain Province (18).

Some of the major projects under the DTI – DPWH convergence program are the following: (a) construction/improvement of 20-km. road connecting Junction Silet, San Juan to Tineg Boundary in Abra, in support of the province’s coffee industry (cost: ₱500 million); (b) construction/Improvement of the 25-km access road in Madduang-Dagara-Maragat Road, Apayao (₱1.2 billion); (c) improvement/opening of Dada Junction-Beyeng-Bulisay-Kayapa-Alilem Ilocos Sur Road, with 3 bridges, located in Bakun, Benguet, in support of Benguet’s coffee, cacao, bamboo, cut flower, banana, heirloom rice, livestock and other high-value crops industries (₱830 million); (d) improvement/concreting of Poblacion to Gawa-an Municipal Road with bridge construction connecting Kalinga-Abra National Road and Gawa-an Municipal Road in Balbalan, Kalinga, in support to the Balbalan’s soap-making and food processing industries (₱162 million); and (e) construction/improvement/rehabilitation of Bato-Cuba-Balicanao-Pua-Mankigao Road connecting Bato and Mankingao in Bauko, Mountain Province, in support to the food/vegetable processing and coffee industries in Barangays Sadsadan and Monamon Sur, Bauko (₱ 326.025 million). These projects will effectively link the region’s agricultural areas to market centers to help reduce transportation cost, thereby increasing the income of farmers.

The TRIP Program, meanwhile, is in support of the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) to promote tourism infrastructure projects in priority tourist destination areas in Cordillera. These road projects aim to enhance access to tourism gateways, service centers and tourism sites in the region. It is consistent with President Duterte’s announcement that his administration will be the Golden Age of Infrastructure Development. The 25 tourism road projects are distributed across provinces as follows: Abra (13); Apayao (5); Ifugao (5); and Kalinga (2).
Some major projects under the TRIP are the following: (a) concreting and improvement of the road leading to Simminublan (Lobot) Falls, Brgy. Baug in San Juan, Abra (₱64.399 million); (b) concreting and improvement of Manag-Liwan Road leading to Purag Cave and Bellang Cave in Apayao (₱ 277.6 million); (c) concreting of Bayyu-Pangaggawan Road in Bolog, Kiangan Ifugao (₱ 120.4 million); and (d) construction of access road from Poblacion Municipal Road to Dalayap connecting to Mount Calvary, Poblacion Balbalan, Kalinga (₱ 150.91 million).