CAR execs ask Duterte to fund road projects, Loakan airport modernization

BAGUIO CITY – Leaders of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) led by the Regional Development Council (RDC) chairman have asked President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during their meeting at Malacañan Palace to consider the implementation of the Cordillera Roads Infrastructure Program (CRIP) and the modernization of the Loakan airport as an urgent project.

Mayor and RDC Chairman Mauricio Domogan relayed this in a late Wednesday press briefing where he also said he told the President that there are still 133.3 kilometers of national and local roads to be paved in the region. “More or less 98 kilometers of these are national roads and 44.8 are local roads,” he said.

Domogan said he told the President that the implementation of the CRIP project is needed to fast-track the development of the region.

“We asked the President to kindly direct the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) secretary Mark Villar and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary to continue to give funding for the projects,” he said.

Domogan said that some of the CRIP projects are already funded for 2018, and these are located in Apayao but those which were not yet funded are the ones requested to be included as priority projects.

The mayor relayed that prior to the meeting with President Duterte on Tuesday evening, they met with the Cabinet secretaries present in Malacañan, among whom was DPWH Secretary Villar, who said he will consider the request of the RDC chairman as a priority. “He said that they will consider the request during the budget hearing next year,” Domogan said.

Aside from the CRIP project, the RDC chairman also asked the President to consider the modernization of the Loakan airport in Baguio, which will need some Php402 million.

“The modernization of the airport is long overdue considering that it is the gateway to the Cordillera specially to the city of Pines, Benguet and Mountain Province where the top tourist destinations in the region are located,” Domogan said during the Wednesday press briefing.

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), which contributes to the Gross Domestic Product of the country, likewise needs the airport for the transport of raw materials and in bringing the finished products to the different sea and airports for export.

Furthermore, the mayor explained that there is a need to improve the state of local roads to pave the way for the expanding telecommunications and electrification coverage.

Mayor Domogan led the Cordillera Administrative Region delegates composed of 120 RDC officers, governors, congressmen and mayors in Malacañan Palace to ask for President Duterte’s support to the Cordillera autonomy and for the inclusion of the same in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24. Dionisio Dennis Jr. & Pamela Geminiano/PNA – northboundasia.com