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Road to nowhere

  • Councilor to probe DPWH road on watershed area

COUNCILOR Temujin “Tek” Ocampo revealed their committee will probe the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) XI’s alleged ongoing road construction in the Panigan watershed.

Ocampo, the committee on environment chair, said during the AFP-PNP Press Corps on April 17 that the ongoing construction is for the concreting of a farm-to-road market at Purok 7 and Purok 8, Barangay Carmen, Baguio District.

“They have cut down trees just to concrete the area, therefore the natural environment was disturbed when it should be the protected area,” Ocampo said.

The committee invited the DPWH, Department of Natural Resources, and other agencies concerned to appear in their committee hearing this month to inquire about the project. 

After the committee hearing, Ocampo said they would give recommendations to the city government and take legal action if necessary.

“The question is para kang kinsa man to nga kalsada? Para ba sa mga katawhan didto nga ang mga tao nagpuyo man sa ubos, or naay mga dagkong tawo nga nagpuyo didtoa (The question is who will benefit from the road. Is it for the residents or are there influential people living there)?,” he said.

Ocampo reported hearing about alleged public officials who purchased lots in the area without free and prior consent from the indigenous people’s community.

He added the road construction will likely open to people with a personal interest and build resorts in the area which is detrimental to the watershed.

According to the Watershed Management Council (WMC) report, the ongoing road construction in the said area is under contract with Two Degrees Construction and Supply with a contract amount of Php 29,551,481.40, sourced from General Appropriations Act CY 2023.

The report added the road is at 50% completion as of March 19.

Magbutang kag kalsada kung naay community didto, kung naay farm, pero lasang man gud, unsay purpose magbutang kalsada sa tunga sa lasang (You build a road to reach the community or farm. But it’s a forest, so what’s the purpose of building road in the middle of a forest)?” Ocampo stressed. 

Ocampo reiterated a certain process that should be followed before a construction is conducted such as coordination with the WMC and the city council for proper deliberation, which the DPWH failed to do.


Photo courtesy: Watershed Management Council inspection report



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