LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Governor Nestor Fongwan lambasted the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for its slow rehabilitation of the Pico Road, a major road for businessmen and residents.
“[The DPWH] should be sensible and sensitive enough to finish this [at this time],” Fongwan said.
Ongoing drainage road repairs at the Pico Road have been giving motorists something to gripe about for the past months while the governor commiserated with local folk saying “dapat bigyan ng attention ang mga lubak nay yan.”
Fongwan said, “If they cannot repair it, then the province will step in, we will bring our equipment and finish it.” He also said the road repairs are crucial for everyone in the province.
Benguet Representative Ronnie Cosalan earmarked P20 million for the concreting of the Pico–Puguis road during the Summer Strawberry Festival, but the contractor has been fixing a drainage problem in the area.
The Puguis Road has been completed in contrast to the Pico area which has been left with problems until today. “This is a problematic area, the contractor should maintain it.”
Fongwan said, during the final Provincial Peace and Order Council meeting this week, the problem of the Pico road rehabilitation was brought up.
He said despite the road being in the jurisdiction of the national agencies, it has been giving inconvenience to the people of the province for months.
He said the Provincial Government likewise stepped into the repairs of the Kabayan road to which he sent equipment to speed up repairs.
A Pico A four-lane road proposed in the area as part of widening work but road right of way of residents must be addressed first before starting any work.
The dilemma stems from the lack of a drainage system in the Valley which is feared to also affect farmers produce because of floods going into the farms and homes.
Weeks ago a signature campaign was launched by the Benguet Farmers Marketing Cooperative residents, riding public, businessmen and farmers in the Valley who are appealing to the DPWH through Regional Director Edilberto Carabbacan for the immediate gravelling of Pico Road.
Fongwan said he is still waiting for the DPWH to request assistance from the province.