Regional Development – The Cordillera Infrastructure Development Committee chaired by DPWH-CAR Regional Director Khadaffy Tanggol (Top left) convene virtually for its regular quarterly meeting to discuss updates for projects implemented in the Cordillera region

On May 20, the Cordillera Regional Development Council Infrastructure Development Committee (RDC-INFRACOM) chaired by DPWH-CAR Regional Director Khadaffy Tanggol, met to review the status of Infrastructure projects in the region.

The committee recommended the Masallong Foot Bridge project in Tocucan, Mt. Province for RDC endorsement to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) for funding. Once constructed, the new 55 lineal meters footbridge will improve safety and access to domestic water supply project of DILG under its Patubig Program.  A total of 327 farming households in Tocucan and 115 households in Caneo, a geographically-isolated and disadvantaged area (GIDA) barangay of Bontoc will benefit from the project.

Director Tanggol mentioned that LGUs should propose similar projects especially to barangays that don’t have access to national and municipal roads. He added “This may be a small project, but the impact to the community is great.” 

The DPWH-CAR reported its major infrastructure projects, one of which is the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) Outer Ring Circumferential Road with 36.69 percent completed based of total project cost. This ongoing project is expected to decongest traffic in highly urbanized BLISTT area reducing travel time by 50-60 percent.  The Tourism Road Infrastructure Program (TRIP), implemented under DOT-DPWH Convergence program, aims to make tourist spots in the region accessible. To date, the project completed 307.086 kilometers of paved roads out of the target 565.783 kilometers across the region. The Tatag ng Imprastraktura para sa Kapayapaan At Seguridad (TIKAS) program of the DPWH with DND and PNP already completed 9 projects out of 19 as of 2019 to 2020. There are still 8 projects that are still on-going and 2 projects have not yet started.

Department of Information and Communication Luzon Cluster 1 Director Nestor Bongato reported that as of May 2021, there are already 145 active sites that provides free Wi-Fi in the Cordillera region. The DICT also installed Regional Government Network (GovNet) in the region to interconnect government agencies and have enable faster communication, better coordination, easier access to online services and simplified processes. RD Bongato also added that there are 62 operational sites for GovNet and an additional of 12 more sites are proposed in the region. Another program of the DICT is the Technology Empowerment for Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (Tech4ED) that give communities free access to information, communication, technology, government services, non-formal education, skills training, telehealth, job markets, and business portals. A total of 95 Tech4ED Centers have been established in CAR in 2020.

In behalf of the Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC), Sharon B. Africano of NEDA-CAR reported that 76 infrastructure projects amounting to Php 2.4 billion were flagged for various level of delays. The number of flagged projects for the first quarter of 2021 is significantly lower compared to the first quarter of 2020.

The Infrastructure Development Committee as a support committee of RDC-CAR is tasked to review and endorse infrastructure programs that contribute to the regional development. It inspects and evaluates the implementation of infrastructure projects, formulates development plans, and provides resolutions and recommends policies to help accelerate Cordillera Regional Development.

By Bob Lyndon B. Daroya