House panel backs declaring Kennon Road as heritage zone
A measure seeking to declare Kennon Road in Baguio City and Tuba in the province of Benguet as National Heritage Zone gets the swift approval of the House Committee on Basic Education.
House Bill 5017, seeking the declaration of Kennon Road as a National Heritage Zone and allocating funds for its restoration, conservation, and development, was filed in Congress early this year by Baguio Rep. Marquez Go.
Over the years, Baguio City and Tuba are sought out by local and foreign tourists due to the breath-taking sceneries and natural resources as well as unconventional adventures they offer.
Kennon Road is one of the three major access roads that lead up to Baguio City and Tuba, Benguet. It is also considered the most scenic highway and the oldest mountain highway built during the American regime. The construction of the highway was completed in 1903.
“After more than 100 years of constant use, some portions of Kennon Road already became dangerous due to natural deterioration aggravated by fortuitous events. Given these circumstances, it would be necessary that additional mechanism be set in place to ensure a cycle of utilization, conservation, preservation, development and promotion of this historic road,” Go stressed.
Among others, the Department of Tourism (DOT) in partnership with the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the City Government of Baguio and Municipality of Tuba and other government agencies concerned shall prepare the development plan involving the restoration, rehabilitation, conservation and maintenance for the enhancement of the area as well as the implementation of the necessary construction.
Resource persons from DOT and TIEZA have no objection on the proposed measure while Dir. Jeremy Barnes of National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) recommended that Tuba-Aritao Road be included as National Heritage Zone in addition to Kennon Road.
“Kennon Road has become part of our nation’s historical and cultural heritage and in realizing our common vision of building a better nation, we need to preserve our rich cultural heritage for our next generation,” Go said. ABN