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DPWH on duty: Duterte signs law for Kennon Road rehab

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has signed into law an act mandating the full rehabilitation and maintenance of Kennon Road, one of the major access roads leading to the Benguet province.

Republic Act No. 11604 mandates the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to undertake the full rehabilitation of the 33.534-kilometer Kennon Road stretching from the Municipality of Rosario, Province of La Union to Baguio City.

After that time, the DPWH will be responsible for the maintenance of Kennon Road and will ensure that it remains safe and optimally serviceable.

The DPWH, in coordination with the Cordillera Regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, will evaluate and assess the current condition of Kennon Road to identify the necessary engineering works to be undertaken for the rehabilitation of the said road.

A feasibility study will be conducted by the DPWH to primarily plan the extent and duration of the rehabilitation of Kennon Road into an “all weather” road.

The amount necessary to cover the rehabilitation and maintenance of Kennon Road will be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.

RA 11604 was signed by Duterte December 10, 2021 and was released to reporters on Thursday.

The act, which originated in the House of Representatives, was passed by the House and Senate in May 2020, and Sept. 6, 2021, respectively.

Kennon Road has been described as among the most dangerous roads in the country as landslides frequently occur along this road.

However, it also provides the shortest route from Rosario, La Union to Baguio City.

Muslim-Christianity Unity Highway

Meanwhile, Duterte also signed RA 11602 providing for the construction of the Muslim-Christian Unity Highway.

The law mandates the construction of a national highway from the Lanao del Norte Interior Circumferential Road in the Municipality of Tagoloan, Province of Lanao del Norte to the Municipality of Talakag, Province of Bukidnon, with a crossroad at Barangay Malimbato, Municipality of Tagoloan, Province of Lanao del Norte and connecting roads to the national highway in Iligan City through Barangay Pugaan, Iligan City and to the national highway in Marawi City through the municipality of Kapai, Province of Lanao del Sur.

Under RA 11602, the amount necessary to defray the cost of undertaking and completing the feasibility study and detailed engineering for this project, and other activities related will be included in the annual GAA.

After that time, the Secretary of the DPWH will include in the department’s program the construction of the Muslim-Christian Unity Highway, the funding of which will be included in the annual GAA.

Duterte also inked RA11612 an act creating a new district engineering office in the Third Legislative District of the Province of Zamboanga del Norte which will be known as the Fourth District Engineering Office and will be located in the Municipality of Siocon, Province of Zamboanga del Norte.

Under RA 11612, the new district engineering office will also service the municipalities of Baliguian, Siraway, Siocon, and Sibuco, all within the third legislative district of the province of Zamboanga del Norte.

The DPWH Secretary will include in the department’s program the operationalization of the Fourth District Engineering Office in the Province of Zamboanga del Norte, the funding of which will be included in the annual GAA.

Both laws were also signed on Dec. 10, 2021 and were also released on Thursday. (PNA)

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