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PIA Press Release

Mt Province officials, residents thank PGMA for rehabilitated Halsema Highway

by Andrew Doga-ong

Bauko, Mt. Province (6 March) -- Local officials and residents of this landlock province openly expressed their gratitude to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for the rehabilitation and improvement of the once humpy- bumpy Halsema high way.

President Arroyo motored to Mount Data, Bauko from the Lepanto Mines airstrip on March 1 to inaugurate the 50.4 kilometer Mount Data to Bontoc road stretch or which is referred to as the Phase II of the Halsema Highway Rehabilitation project.

Phase I of the Halsema Rehab project starts from La Trinidad, Benguet up to Mount Data, Bauko which was completed in 2006 while phase III starts from the capital-town of Bontoc to Banaue, Ifugao which is under construction and is expected to be finished by April.

In his welcome remarks at the Boga bridge where the short program was held, Governor Maximo Dalog thanked President Arroyo for pouring in billions of pesos for the improvement of major roads leading to the Cordillera Heartland. He said the crucial concreting of the road trunklines will usher in the development of the people and the communities not only in Mt. Province but the whole of the Cordilleras.

The Halsema rehabilitation project including that of the Bontoc – Tabuk road and the Sabangan – Cervantes road are part of the President's flagship projects in the North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle to hasten economic development in this part of the region.

The Provincial Chief Executive also thanked President Arroyo for being the number one tourism promoter saying the President's frequent visit to Mt. Province perked up the tourism industry in the province. The President usually made a working visit to Mt. Province during the Christmas holiday season and Holy Week.

Noting the many programs and projects the province received from the present administration, Dalog concluded that Pres. Arroyo is the only the incumbent President that showed much concern and sensitivity to the needs of the people of Mt. Province.

Road users and commuters in thanking the President said the concreted road would now allow them to experience the basic convenience of traveling. They said travel time is significantly reduced such that they can reach their destination much earlier as compared to when the road is still unpaved.

A road worker in his interaction with the President said the Halsema rehabilitation project gave him the opportunity to be employed like hundreds of local residents in the province.

The improved Halsema road will be one of the legacies of President Arroyo to the people of Mt. Province and the whole of the Cordillera. (PIA MP) [top]

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