7 tourism road projects in the pipeline for Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 17 Dec) – Seven more tourism road projects worth around P700 million are in the pipeline for implementation by next year in parts of Region 12, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Reynaldo Tamayo, DPWH Region 12 acting director, said Tuesday the proposed road projects were part of the second batch of tourism investments that were earlier endorsed by the agency and the Department of Tourism (DOT) to further enhance the region’s tourism potentials.

“These projects are mainly aimed to improve access to and from various emerging tourism sites within the region,” he said in a statement.

Tamayo said the lined up projects, which mainly involve road concreting and rehabilitation works, include the circumferential road covering Surallah Lake Sebu-Maitum junction, Purok Rosas-Seloton-Seven Falls Lake Lahit road junction; national highway junction to Marguez Road Hot Spring road in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat; Poblacion to Barangay Salacafe road leading to Lake Holon and Mt. Melebingoy, in T’boli, South Cotabato; and junction national highway leading to the tarsier sanctuary in Barangay Linan in Tupi, South Cotabato.

Also proposed are the Poblacion to Sitio Dulao road leading to Asik Asik Falls in Alamada, North Cotabato; Ilomavis highway junction to Bongolanon road leading to Tawsuvan Falls in Magpet, North Cotabato; and diversion road in Norala town in South Cotabato connecting the Baras bird sanctuary, Monte Vincenteau Resort and Desela Eco-Park in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat.

Tamayo said these projects still need to pass the Tourism Road Infrastructure Project Prioritization Criteria (TRIPPC), which sets the standards for the implementation of tourism roads.

For a project to qualify, he said a proposed local or national road should get 60 of the 100 points indicated in the TRIPPC score card, he said.

The official said the agency is currently implementing five tourism road projects that were approved for funding earlier this year.

These are the concreting of a 9-km access road connecting the Seven Falls and lakes Sebu, Lahit and Seloton in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato; 10.289-km Kidapawan-Ilomavis road in Kidapawan City; 4.6-km road connecting Barangay New Israel in Makilala, North Cotabato to the Davao-Cotabato highway; 1-km road project connecting the white sand beaches of Barangay Gumasa in Glan, Sarangani Province to the national highway junction of the Sarangani-Davao del Sur coastal road; and 8-km road connecting Barangay New La Union in Maitum, Sarangani to the Sarangani-Sultan Kudarat coastal road.

Tamayo said these projects are part of the road networks leading to and from the famed waterfalls and lakes of Lake Sebu town in South Cotabato; Tawsuvan Falls in Magpet and New Israel zipline in Makilala, both in North Cotabato; white beaches of Glan and water tubing in New La Union river in Maitum, Sarangani Province; and Baras bird sanctuary in Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat.

He added that they are targeting to complete these projects before the end of President Benigno S. Aquino III’s term in June 2016.