The Cordillera Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC), led by NEDA-CAR Regional Director Milagros Rimando, gave recommendations on three Apayao road projects during the RPMC meeting on December 11, 2019. These projects have been flagged under the Regional Project Monitoring Evaluation System for incoming delays.

Two of the projects, Manag-Talifugo-Paddaoan and Manag-Liwan roads, are in Conner while another, Bulu (Lenneng) road, is in Kabugao. These roads connect various industries and tourist sites in Apayao.

The Manag-Talifugo-Paddaoan road, in particular, connects Conner’s banana, coffee, cacao, rice and corn industries to the Tabuk-Conner-Kabugao National Road. The Manag-Liwan road leads to the declared tourism destinations of Purag River, Purag Cave, and Bellang Cave in Conner, Apayao. Meanwhile, the Bulu (Lenneng) road will improve access to the Gulolan Falls in Paco Valley, Kabugao, Apayao.

Apayao 1st DEO Engineer Albert Gahid shared that he had previously issued notices to terminate the contracts of the three projects. The RPMC previously inspected the three project sites on November 27 & 28, 2019. The delays attributed primarily to inclement weather.  The Manag-Liwan road was also delayed due to a right-of-way concern with an elementary school. The school’s existing stage and comfort room are in the way of the road project. The RPMC recommends the negotiation with the concerned school and barangay to demolish and rebuild the structures and construct a retaining wall to keep the students safe.

It was agreed in the meeting that DPWH will include a timeline in their project reports to indicate realistic targets allowing some for revisions or extensions. DENR also offered to assist DPWH in the implementation of environmental policies as two of the projects are access roads to tourist destinations.

The RPMC, a support committee under the Cordillera Regional Development Council, monitors government projects region-wide to ensure on-time implementation by facilitating the resolution of project issues. The committee conducts inspections, problem-solving sessions, trainings, and quarterly meetings to achieve its goal of proper implementation of government projects. It is composed of regional government agencies, the local governments, and the private sector. The RPMC had also nominated John Glenn Abela of the United Architects of the Philippines to join RDC Private Sector Representatives Arnel Cabanisas and Dr. Julie Cabato as members of the RPMC.