MOUNTAIN Province and Abra are now connected with the completion of the P 144 million road opening project.
Funded under the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Pamana), the road opening of the 16.502 kilometers starting in Tamboan, Besao, Mt. Province until Dilong, Tubo, Abra was implemented in three phases starting 2013 with the Department of the Interior and Local Government as partner agency and local governments or other entities as implementing partners.
Pamana is the national government’s convergence program that extends development interventions to isolated, hard-to-reach and conflict-affected communities, ensuring that they are not left behind.
Starting in 2012, DILG served as the partner agency of the Office for Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process for access roads funded under Pamana. To fast track project implementation, DILG-CAR entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with local governments to implement the project.
This Pamana project covers 16.502 kilometers of road through mountainous area from Tamboan, Besao to Dilong, Tubo with a total budget of P144 million. According to the project completion report, insurgents have infiltrated the area because of its inaccessibility.
First to be opened in 2013 was the 7.2 kilometers in Besao, Mt. Province worth P50 million benefitting at least 803 households of barangays Tamboan and Dandanac in Besao. Indirect beneficiaries are residents of adjacent barangays of the municipalities of Cervantes and Quirino in Ilocos Sur, most of whom have kinship ties with Tubo residents of Abra.
This was implemented by the Provincial Government of Mt. Province.
The next 5.235 kilometers worth P41 million was implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways – CAR in 2015, followed by the P53 million road opening from Poblacion, Dilong, Tubo, Abra to Besao, Mt. Province covering 4.067 kilometers which was completed in May this year.
The latter was implemented by the Provincial Government of Abra and was monitored by the Regional Project Monitoring Team headed by DILG-CAR assistant regional director Jonathan Leusen, Jr, together with LGCDD Chief, Engr. Rene Valera, Engr. Marlon Walang, and Tubo MLGOO Brahmie Mina, and OPAPP representative Adonis Bringas on July 27-29, accompanied by Engineers Hector Camcam, Edwin Callo, and Ediver Valera from the Abra Provincial Engineering Office.
The road opening improved the existing foot trail into an access road to enable vehicles to pass through and shorten the current time travel of at least six hours via the Bontoc-Cervantes- Quirino Road and nine hours via Halsema Road – Baguio-La Union-Tirad Pass Road.
It also improved the community’s access to basic services such as education and health.
“More importantly, these road projects have connected families and communities. And no one can peg monetary value to that connectivity because it is invaluable,” said DILG-CAR regional director Marlo Iringan.
Since the start of Pamana in 2012, 70 projects have already been funded through DILG-CAR amounting to P 772.3 million with 42 projects completed.
In 2016 alone, 24 projects in all six provinces in the region were funded amounting to P 386.5 million.
Pamana projects were identified by the Local Peace and Order Councils, certified by the Philippine Army and endorsed by the Cordillera Regional Peace and Order Council. (Carol Gano with a report from Marlon Walang/DILG-CAR)