THE tourism and public works departments in January started building facilities along the 100 kilometer Halsema Highway, which would give ease, comfort and safety to all those who travel across the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), especially tourists.
The highway starts from the end of the flyover at the boundary of this city and La Trinidad, Benguet to the poblacion area of Bontoc, Mountain Province.
Departments of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Regional Director Edilberto Carabacan said the facilities included modern comfort rooms, view decks and parking areas.
Along this highway are places of interest like the flower and vegetable gardens of Atok, Benguet where frosting usually occur; the town of Buguias, Benguet where hailstones usually fall during summer; various natural springs and waterfalls; the mystic sunset of Tublay, Benguet due to the visible skylines of Ilocos region; the Sagada caves in Mountain Province and several others.
Records show that the billions of pesos worth of roads, bridges and other tourism infrastructures in the CAR, more than a million of visitors yearly have found safer and easier travel in the mountainous area composed of the cities of Baguio and Tabuk, and the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Kalinga, Ifugao and Apayao.
However, many suggested to the Department of Tourism (DOT) headed by Regional Director Purificacion Molintas they need view decks in some sites like the roadsides in Atok, and Buguias, Benguet in order to have panoramic view to the hectares of flower and vegetable gardens with scalloped mountains with hues of blue yonder.
Other tourists also requested more comfort rooms, especially women who have more discriminating taste than men as far as personal hygiene is concerned.
Besides, parking areas are now provided in areas where tourists usually make their stopovers to make their brief sojourn safe from passing motorists.
Carabacan said the initial success of the innovative facilities within the southern and central part of Benguet Province will be done in strategic points of the Halsema Highway. (Aure Galacgac)