BAGUIO CITY — The Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council on Thursday spearheaded the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the use of Kennon Road by the residents along the scenic road.
Members of the Task Force Kennon Road signed the MOU for the Administration and Regulation of Access along Kennon Road within the jurisdiction and area of responsibility of various government agencies and the local government units of Baguio City and Tuba, Benguet.
CRDRRMC Chairperson,  Office of Civil Defense-Cordillera  Regional Director Albert Mogol said that the MOU is aimed to provide a framework for cooperation among member agencies for a safe and efficient movement of road users along Kennon Road through well-coordinated administration and regulation of access and incident management activities.
“The MOU provides the role and commitment of each agency and LGUs down to the barangay level for the implementation of the serious control of vehicles passing through Kennon Road,” he said.
Mogol explained that residents along the stretch of the 33-kilometer road had been clamoring through Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Tuba Mayor Ignacio Rivera that they be allowed to pass Kennon.
The Regional Development Council proposed that a regulated access be given for residents only along Kennon road following the Sanguniang Bayan Resolution 189-2018 passed by the Tuba titled “Requesting the DPWH-CAR to temporary open Kennon Road for the Benefit of the Residents of Camp 4, Camp 3, Camp 1, Twin Peaks, Tabaan Sur and Ansagan, Tuba in Benguet only,” in view that the closure had adversely affected the lives, business, and livelihood of the residents of the six barangays along Kennon Road.
This prompted a joint inspection of Kennon Road by the Department of Public Works and Highways, Mines and Geosciences Bureau and the OCD to know the condition of the road in December 2018 and eventually, the drafting of the MOU.
Under the MOU, only 10 public utility jeepneys plying  the Baguio- Puzurobio Kennon road shall be allowed strictly until Dungon Camp 1 only. Punong barangays shall submit the list of the plate numbers of the privately owned and public utility vehicles allowed plying within the areas and continuously update such list when needed.
For special occasions, punong barangay or the municipal mayor shall issue a certification to allow the visitors vehicles to pass through.
Only light vehicles or vehicles weighing 5 tons or less will be allowed to pass.
The PNP shall install checkpoints and assign personnel in proper uniform 24/7 at Camp 1 and Camp 7 to monitor and impose exclusive access of residents. In addition, they will report violators of restrictions imposed along Kennon Road. The police officers will be joined by barangay officials.
Signatories in MOU were RD Mogol, DPWH RD Canlas, DILG-CAR Regional Director Marlo Iringan, MGB-CAR Geologist Benigno Espejo,   Mayor   Domogan,   Mayor   Rivera and punong barangays along Kennon Road and   from the Police Regional Office – Cordillera.
Meanwhile,   the DPWH is set to complete some of the critical sections of the road including the Camp 5 and Camp 1 bridges to be able to accommodate the request of the Baguio City government to open Kennon Road for the Panagbenga festivities and the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Homecoming   next month.
The DPWH-CAR is targeting to re-open to the public Kennon Road temporarily by February 14 and will again close after the Panagbenga festivities. – JDP/RMC- PIA CAR