By Shah Balaw-ing

The region’s Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) second quarter report showed that the road project along Ambangeg Junction National Road to Mount Pulag, Benguet is progressing smoothly and is now 68 percent complete.

The RPMC Inspectorate team comprised of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) as the technical secretariat, Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) inspected it last April 16-18, 2013. 

The project, with a length of 5.2 kilometers and a total cost of Php 40 million, is located in Bila, Bokod and Babaoak, Kabayan, Benguet. The improvement of what used to be a dirt road was committed by DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson when he visited Mount Pulag in December 2010.

It is funded under the tourism road program implemented by the DPWH in collaboration with the DOT. This DPWH-DOT Convergence Program aims to provide good road access to designated priority tourism sites.

The RPMC Inspectorate Team reported that the physical accomplishment of the project is 68 percent as of the second quarter and is on track with no serious problems that may cause delay. The project contractors are sufficiently equipped and can promptly provide materials needed. Moreover,previous RPMC observations on the project were correspondingly addressed by the DPWH.

When completed, the project is expected to ease travel to Mount Pulag. It will also increase foreign and local tourist arrival which would boost the economy of Northern Benguet.  

Meanwhile, the second phase of the project amounting to Php 50 million is also on-going with 13.2 percent physical accomplishment. Among its major works include the construction of 10 units of comfort rooms and bath rooms behind the ranger station at the base of Mt. Pulag.