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Road to shorten Sagada travel won’t push through

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10:14 PM January 15th, 2013

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January 15th, 2013 10:14 PM

A PLAN to build a new road leading to these burial sites was suspended amid protests. RICHARD BALONGLONG/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON

BAGUIO CITY—Following protests from local officials and residents, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has suspended the bidding for a road project that would shorten travel to the caves of the tourist town of Sagada in Mt. Province.

Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson stopped the process last month, owing to a set of Sagada town council resolutions which noted that government engineers proposed to open a much longer route through neighboring Sabangan town to reach the Balangan Caves and the Pongas Falls, said Sagada Vice Mayor Richard Yodong in a press briefing here last week.

Yodong said Sagada officials complained that instead of the much shorter route through Barangay Balili, the road project would have traversed through Barangay Madepdepas, which has a gravel path, requiring more funds for a new road and a bridge because of a river separating Sabangan and Sagada in that part of the province.

According to the bid invitation documents of the DPWH Cordillera office, the upgrading of the Sabangan-Sagada Road would cost at least P96 million.

Yodong said changes in the project were done by top officials in the province. “Why use the name of Sagada for another infrastructure project?” Yodong said. Desiree Caluza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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