BLISTT Mayors approve proposal to develop outer circumferential road

BAGUIO CITY—To advance interconnectivity and boost local trade and tourism, the BLISTT Mayors have unanimously approved the proposal to develop the BLISTT outer circumferential road during their July 4 Governing Council Meeting.

The outer ring is approximately 87 kilometers long and will roughly cost some Php 2.6 billion. It shall link the municipalities of Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, Tublay and parts of La Trinidad and Baguio City. The proposed route starts from Marcos Highway (Tuba) to Taloy Norte – Nangalisan – Monglo (Sablan) – Pappa – Bagong – Alno (La Trinidad) – Ambonglodan (Tublay) – Daclan – Ambassador – Labey – Ambuklao – Gusset (Itogon) – Binga – Dalupirip – Twin River and ends in Kias (Baguio City).

This early, BLISTT Chairman Mayor Mauricio Domogan emphasized the importance of securing the road right of way along the proposed route to minimize acquisition costs. He also proposed that LGUs concerned start settling issues or claims along the proposed road line to facilitate project implementation.

In a related development, DPWH Regional Director Edilberto Carabbacan announced that the Shilan-Beckel Road will be fully paved by 2014.

If travelers are coming from Halsema and don’t have business in La Trinidad or Baguio, they can just pass through the Shilan-Beckel road and exit at the Ambuklao Road (Baguio-Aritao Road) to reach Nueva Vizcaya. Moreover, those coming from Tublay can pass through either the Agri-Pinoy Road or the Puguis-Betag Access Road and exit at Naguilian Road to go to La Union.

The proposed BLISTT outer ring road is a combination of existing national, provincial and barangay roads and an estimated 8 kilometers of intermittent unpassable sections. Its parcellary survey and detailed engineering work shall be proposed for funding under DOT’s Baguio-Boracay Task Force Project or the Tourism Roads Program of the DOT and DPWH.

It will be recalled that the BLISTT, an inter-local coope-ration mechanism, was recently reactivated by the CAR Regional Development Council through its interim secretariat–NEDA-CAR. BLISTT primarily aims to plan and jointly develop programs and projects deemed beneficial to the cluster and its neighboring areas.#