BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has complied with a council resolution penned in 2020 requesting prioritization of road linkages of tourist destinations between and among Baguio City, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay (BLISTT) areas.

The project as embodied in Resolution 01 series of 2020, is part of DPWH’s road strengthening and improvement programs. It is also spurred by the city’s policy of tourism promotion into a shared enterprise with benefits, advocating partnership between and among BLISTT members. The BLISTT area boasts of a number of sights and attractions in different places reached by road linkages, thus a need for road improvements to make travel to destinations faster, safer and more accessible, the resolution states.

Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan recently received a list and location maps of DPWH road projects for 2020 and 2021, from DPWH Baguio City District Engineer Rene Zarate and Chief of the Planning and Design Engr. Cesario Rillera. 

A status report, a result of legislative monitoring and evaluation regularly done by the Sangguniang Panlungsod  confirms this. 

Rehabilitation, reconstruction of slips, slope collapse and landslide, upgrading of damaged paved roads, construction and rehabilitation of drainage along national primary, secondary and tertiary roads; and construction of off-carriageway improvement, by-pass and diversion road, were done in Quirino Highway (Baguio-Bauang), Loakan, Gov. Pack, Kennon, Marcos highway, Quezon hill road, Session road, Outlook drive, Leonard Wood road, Magsaysay avenue (La Trinidad road), Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and PMA cut-off road.

Other programs include the asset preservation program, and network development program which include road widening and improvements along the previously mentioned roads and Bokawkan road, Abanao road, Calderon st, Lake Drive, Abad Santos Drive, Kayang st., Zandueta st, Chanum st., South Drive, Gen. Luna and A. Bonifacio st., among others. Flood mitigation structures are also constructed and maintained along Juan Luna drive and Juan Luna drive; convergence and special support program were  implemented along PMA access road, up to the Fort del Pilar elementary school, Baguio City.

Said road networks lead to areas in Benguet District 1 – Itogon, Sablan, Tuba; and District II – La Trinidad and Tublay. 

Additional local programs such as drainage facilities were also done along the Wright Park area, a tourist destination.

Said projects were done for tourism investment, employment growth and national development as a policy of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and attached agencies. Funds were also provided for the purpose.

The tourism act of 2009 states that tourism as an indispensable element of the national economy and industry of   interest and importance must be harnessed as an engine of socio-economic growth and cultural affirmation, to generate investment foreign exchange and employment. Tourism also continues to mold an enhanced sense of national pride to all Filipinos, the resolution states.

The promotion of progressive development of existing civil aviation, land and sea transportation policies is the state’s role, the resolution states; in relation to tourism in consonance with existing bilateral agreements and inter-agency pronouncements. – juliegfianza