Road improvement helps spur economic development in IP communities

ADAMS, Ilocos Norte, Jan. 27 (PNA) — Residents here used to travel for more than an hour on rough road going up and down, traversing river boulders overlooking deep ravines and cliffs.

During rainy season, they have difficulty going out to buy necessities in the neighboring town’s commercial center as passing through the rugged terrain may cause disaster in the landslide-prone road.

A number of hanging bridges abound in the area not for adventure but for necessity. They are most important when the Bolo river swells during prolonged rainy weather.

In early 2014, the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) converged for the improvement of roads leading to the province’s promising tourism destinations which include those in Adams.

Adams is nestled at the highest peak of Ilocos Norte and is known for its crystal clear waters and majestic waterfalls and for being the last frontier of dipterocrop forests declared by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as a critical habitat for wildlife species.

Adams, about 105 kilometers from Laoag City, is also a melting pot of indigenous arts and culture, having five tribes locally known as the Yapayaos, Isneg, Bagobos, Kankana-eys and Ilocanos.

Of the P390-million DOT-DPWH convergence program in Ilocos Norte, at least P100 million was allotted for the 4.8-kilometer concreting of the Pancian, Pagudpud-Adams road, enabling Adams residents and tourists as well to reach the town and cut short the trip by approximately 30 minutes from Pancian national highway.

Maryrose Valenzuela, municipal engineer of Adams, said the paved road going to the town is now almost 100 hundred percent completed.

She said the road shoulder and carriage way are almost nearly completed under phase 1 of the project.

The improvement of roads here had been identified as a priority project by the DOT-DPWH convergence program to spur economic development in areas being promoted as a tourism destination.

This year, more road projects covering Laoag City and five more towns in neighboring Bangui, Burgos, Vintar, Piddig and Carasi are expected to commence in support of the national government’s effort to create more jobs and tourism-related activities.

Tourism Act of 2009 or the so-called Republic Act 9593 supports the DOT-DPWH Convergence Program on Enhancing Tourism Access to develop and market competitive tourist destinations, heritage sites and products.(PNA)