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Solon told TPLEx not just for his constituents

/ 12:01 AM February 01, 2015

DAGUPAN CITY—Former Pangasinan Rep. Mark Cojuangco on Friday said he would present details of his proposal to reroute the exit of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) to the Benguet provincial board, which had urged government to proceed with the original highway design.

Cojuangco had asked the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to move the expressway to less populated areas in the borders of Sison and San Fabian towns and avoid farmlands that are in the way of the project’s original alignment, before it proceeds to its exit in Rosario town, La Union province.

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A Benguet board resolution issued on Jan. 12 supported Benguet Rep. Ronald Cosalan, chair of the House committee on public works, who had opposed Cojuangco’s proposed rerouting of the TPLEx section from Urdaneta City to Rosario.

Cosalan said shifting the exit away from access roads to Baguio City by at least 5 kilometers would be a disadvantage to the Cordillera region.

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“It is unfortunate that he (Cosalan) presented the generalities of his opinion to the Benguet provincial board without allowing them the benefit of hearing the other side. I will make efforts to present to the provincial board detailed facts,” Cojuangco said in a statement.

“This issue should not be allowed to degenerate into partisanship. Rather the facts should be presented before the board rendered its final judgment. That is but common courtesy,” he said.

He said Cosalan “parrots [the DPWH’s] arguments and completely disregards the dire physical consequences to other communities and the long and well thought out study that is the alternative route.”

“After all, TPLEx is not for the benefit of his constituency alone, and there is no need for other communities to suffer. Our proposal is win-win for all,” he said.

Cojuangco’s proposal is 1 km longer but he said it provides many advantages. “The route proposed is mostly a ‘plateau’ area, much milder and cheaper than the hill crossings along Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway,” he said.

One-third of Sison’s population, he said, is composed of indigenous peoples. “He (Cosalan) should realize that they are also his brothers,” he added. Gabriel Cardinoza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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TAGS: Department of Public Works and Highways, Mark Cojuangco, Ronald Cosalan, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, TPLEx
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