BAGUIO CITY — Task Force Kennon Road is looking at the possibility of opening the historic road to vehicular traffic for the whole duration of Holy Week to give convenience to travelers visiting the city to observe Lent.
Currently, Kennon is only open during weekends of April, from 6 p.m. on Fridays until 6 a.m. on Mondays.
“We will still see the situation if we can open the road for the whole week of Holy Week,” said Albert Mogol, Office of Civil Defense (OCD) regional director and Task Force Kennon chairman on Tuesday.
On March 15, the task force opened Kennon to two-way traffic for light vehicles weighing five tons and below during weekends.
Such scheme, however, is subject to change, depending on the situation as the road remains under repair.
Mogol said the decision was done to accommodate the request of residents and business owners along Kennon Road to allow vehicles to pass. The request is in view of the livelihood of the people, who had suffered since Kennon Road was closed in June 2018.
Mogol said that while they recognized the importance of the concern of the residents and business owners, they need to “strike a balance” between the livelihood and the safety of the public, also taking into consideration the plight of the contractors doing the repairs.
In the letter of Camp 7 Barangay captain Angelina Ramos to the city government, she endorsed the appeal of the 117 members of the Kennon Road Camp 7 Vendors Association, seeking the assistance of the barangay and the city government as they complained that their sources of income have literally stopped for nearly a year now.
The letter said the onset of the summer season may be their only chance to recover their financial losses from the closure of the highway.
Mogol said the full opening of Kennon Road may hamper the early completion of the ongoing projects and rehabilitation works being implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
DPWH Cordillera regional director Tiburcio Canlas had earlier said the contractors doing slope protection might have to stop work on days when Kennon Road is open, to prevent possible accidents.
To recall, the task force first opened the road to the public in February to ease traffic congestion along Marcos Highway due to the influx of tourists for the Panagbenga Festival and the alumni homecoming of the Philippine Military Academy. (PNA – northboundasia.com