Issue of September 1, 2019
     
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Dad suggests lengthy closure of Kennon
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

With Kennon Road’s current condition despite billions poured in to make it stable and safe for traffic, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong is suggesting not using the road for a time before resuming rehabilitation works.

The mayor offered the suggestion in the light of the prolonged problems experienced in Kennon Road in terms of its integrity and stability.

“I would rather condition the mind of Baguio and Benguet people to not using Kennon Road for the next five years. Pabagsakin muna nang pabagsakin ‘yung mga unstable na area and after that, let us rehabilitate it,” Magalong said during the joint City Hall Hour-Ugnayan Tuesday.

He mentioned a Japan International Cooperation Agency study 15 years ago that also called against using the road for a number of years, to allow unstable areas to settle either naturally or with intervention.

“Every year we pour billions of money (for rehab projects) in Kennon Road only to find out na kapag nagkaroon ng isang malakas na bagyo or heavy rainfall, babagsak na lang ang slope. ‘Yung projects natin matatakpan o masisira na lang. We heard na almost P4 billion na ang nagagastos and still ganoon pa rin ang itsura ng Kennon Road,” Magalong said.

Twenty-one areas along the stretch of Kennon Road were identified as critical points, 14 of which are serious.

Magalong said more unstable areas may be discovered.

Based on their inspection, he said they discovered that majority of these areas have human activities that make the slopes unstable. One area where a huge slide occurred has a piggery on top of it that does not dispose its waste properly, another had trees removed and carved into a garden, and another portion that recently eroded had a road constructed on its upper part which blocked a creek in the area, without the knowledge of authorities.

During a recent meeting with members of the Kennon Road Task Force, Magalong said they also discussed using identical modern technological solutions at the Baguio and Benguet side of Kennon Road.


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