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Cagayan Valley Regional Development Council endorses twin-tunnel road project

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan (PIA) --The Dalton Pass East Alignment Road Project (DPEARP) is nearing reality after it secured an endorsement from the Regional Development Council-Infrastructure Development Committee (RDC2-IDC) during its recent business meeting on November 14.

The DPEARP will showcase the country’s longest twin-tunnel road of 6.12 kilometers, which is part of the 23-kilometer road proposed to be funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The DPEARP’s total road length is 77.29 kilometers, with the remaining 54.29 kilometers to be funded locally as the Philippine Government’s counterpart.

Once completed, it is expected to alleviate the traffic conditions of motorists traveling between Cagayan Valley and the rest of Luzon, and the constant dilemma faced by travelers in Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya to the Cagayan Valley Region, including those going to Banaue and Ifugao in the Cordilleras, which is the frequent closure of the existing Dalton Pass due to natural disasters, will end.

It is a four-lane high-standard highway connecting Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya that will approximately span 23.5 kilometers, comprising 4-lane roads with 10 bridges, 6.1-kilometer 4-lane tunnels with lighting, ventilation, and emergency facilities, and slope protection works that will serve as an alternate route bypassing the existing Dalton Pass Section along the Pan-Philippine Highway (PPH), more popularly known as Daang Maharlika.

The project is under review by the Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) and is expected to be approved by the NEDA Board early next year.

It is also included in the Infrastructure Flagship Projects, or IFPs, under the "Build, Better, More" program of the President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. administration.

In June this year, the Project Team of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Pre-Appraisal Mission from the JICA convened for a kick-off discussion on the proposed DPEARP.

According to DPWH Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain, the kick-off meeting aimed to evaluate the feasibility of the project and its benefits, putting the best interests and betterment of the Filipino stakeholders first.

On the other hand, the Committee also endorsed to the RDC2 the proposed Philippine Solar-Powered Irrigation Project (PSIP), which aims to improve agricultural productivity and increase the income of farmers by establishing 8,538 units of Solar-Powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS) to irrigate about 85,380 hectares nationwide.

The proposed Convention Center of the Provincial Government of Quirino was conditionally endorsed for funding assistance from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority.

During the meeting, members were likewise apprised on the current developments concerning the proposed flagship irrigation projects to include the Tumauini River Multipurpose Project, the Ilaguen Multipurpose Irrigation and Hydropower Project, and the Magat Dam Sedimentation Countermeasures Project. 

The experience of the municipality of Baggao on its proposed project under a public-private partnership (PPP) scheme, the Baggao Water Supply Project, was also shared to the members by the PPP Center to inspire other LGUs to explore options for their local flagship projects. (MDCT/PIA Cagayan).

The tunnel portion of the proposed Dalton Pass East Alignment Road Project (DPEARP). (Photo courtesy of JICA)

About the Author

Mark Djeron Tumabao

Regional Editor and Social Media Manager

Region 2

An ordinary writer from Cagayan Province. 

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