LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Benguet caretaker congressman and Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap assured officers and members of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Benguet chapter that he will pursue the passage of pending bills in the House of Representatives that seek to abolish the Kennon and Halsema highway toll gates.
Yap, who chairs the House committee on appropriations, made the assurance to the 13 municipal mayors in the province during their previous meeting that was held at the Benguet General Hospital (BeGH) last week Tublay Mayor Armando Lauro reiterated to Congressman Yap the light of motorists plying the Halsema highway pushing for the immediate abolition of the toll gate situated in Acop, Caponga, Tublay town because local governments hosting the main road to the central Cordillera do not actually directly benefit from the collections generated from the said facility.
Rather, he added that the presence of the toll gate in the area is the major cause of traffic congestion along the highway because motor vehicles have to slowdown while approaching the toll gate to pay.
Benguet hosts the Halsema and Kennon toll gates that had been operational for over five decades now but fees being collected from motorists are remitted to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) which is the agency in charge of maintaining the two remaining government toll gates in major highways in the country.
Earlier, the late Rep. Nestor B. Fongwan, Sr. and Mountain Province Rep. Maximo Y. Dalog, Jr. filed a bill in the present Congress seeking for the abolition of the two toll gates because local governments hosting the stretch of the two major highways in the region have never benefited from the fees that were collected from motorists plying the said roads.
Congressman Yap claimed that he will personally look into the matter and will make the necessary representations with the concerned committee where the proposals are pending so that immediate action could be made.
It can be recalled that former Rep. Ronald M. Cosalan also authored similar bills in the past Congress but the same did not pass the approval of both chambers.
“We want to help ease the burden from motorists by working out the approval of pending legislative measures seeking for the abolition of the Halsema and Kennon toll gates. We hope that we will be able to succeed in our efforts to have the bills be deliberated and passed by the House the soonest,” Congressman Yap stressed.
The pending bills seeking for the abolition of the Halsema and Kennon toll gates have been supported by resolutions from both the Benguet and mountain Province local governments before the same had been filed in the House last year.
Yap told the municipal mayors that he will always be open to suggestions and recommendations from them on what are the priority bills that should be filed in the House to effectively and efficiently address the issues and concerns prevailing not only in their areas of jurisdiction but also those that are being similarly experienced by other local governments in the country.
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