Benguet gets P45-B infra funding for 2018

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — Benguet Representative Ronald Cosalan said the province had a total budget of PHP45.525 billion this year for road development, agriculture and irrigation support aside from construction and improvement of school buildings.

Cosalan said PHP4.25 billion had been allocated for road infrastructure projects that would be used for road widening and slope protection of the primary and secondary national roads including the concreting of barangays roads.

This includes the improvement of the circumferential road in Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay (BLISTT) areas.

For the BLISTT outer ring circumferential road, a remaining 80 kilometers from the 143.5 kilometers have yet to be paved, which is expected to be completed within the year.

The BLISTT circumferential roads are Ambiong-Lubas to Baguio; Tuel-Balway, Tublay going to Bagong and Calot in Sablan; Sablan to Monglo-Bayabas in Nangalisan, Tuba and the Tuba to Itogon going to Halsema in Tublay, Benguet.

Cosalan, together with Baguio City Rep. Mark Go, have jointly authored a bill for the realization of the BLISTT circumferential road which according to the latter is now pending at the Senate.

Cosalan also mentioned that listed as priority road projects funded for the year are Acop-Tublay to Kapangan-Kibungan to Ampusungan-Sinipsip Buguias road; Palina, Atok to Bakun central and Bakun Poblacion; the Bokod-Kabayan to Buguias road; Halsema to Madaymen-Sagpat Kibungan; and the Buguias to Tinoc, Ifugao road.

He said a PHP4.25-billion fund was already downloaded to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), specifically earmarked for the completion of the concreting to help in the transport of products of the province.

“Since 2010 I started prioritizing our roads because this will lead to the development of the farmers’ economy. And I will continue to prioritize this until they are all completed,” he explained.

Aside from the road infrastructure projects, Benguet province will also receive PHP40 billion intended to boost the agriculture industry of the province.

Benguet is heavily reliant on agriculture, being the main source of highland vegetables marketed in the whole country.

A total of PHP79 million is also allotted for irrigation projects to further boost the agriculture industry of the province.

To make education better for the students in Benguet, the government has also allotted PHP1.2 billion for school building construction and repair.

These fundings for agriculture, irrigation and school buildings had yet to be released, Cosalan said. Dionisio Dennis, Jr./