Bato Church Restoration: DPWH to help protect, preserve nat’l cultural heritage structures
Bato, Catanduanes  ·  
posted 10-Apr-2019  ·  
864 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

With the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) settings its sights on the restoration of Pandan’s St. Ignatius of Loyola church as its next project, it will have as its ally in protecting and preserving the country’s cultural heritage structures the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

In a recent department order, Secretary Mark Villar directed its offices in regions and districts nationwide regarding the strict preservation and conservation of such structures.

Responding to calls from groups and individuals opposing public works projects affecting historical sites, the DPWH chief issued DO No. 12, series of 2019, ordering DPWH project implementation personnel nationwide, including the Offices of Building Officials of local government units (LGUs), to closely coordinate with the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) and National Cultural Agencies (NCAs) for every project to prevent potential damage and destruction to declared historical sites.

“Starting from the feasibility study, design, and up to civil works, our men were instructed to consult and coordinate with NCCA and other NCAs to ensure that none of our projects could impact a heritage structure,” said Secretary Villar.

He also warned that a range of sanctions will be imposed to individuals found in violation of the latest DO.

“As a national government agency, DPWH is mandated to also conserve, develop, promote, and popularize the nation’s historical and cultural heritage and resources hence appropriate sanctions will be taken against those who fail to recognize the importance of our national treasures,” added Secretary Villar.

In an earlier circular, the DPWH chief cited the NCCA’s call on all concerned agencies to work closely with the NCCA and national cultural agencies regarding any construction, renovation, retrofitting or demolition activities affecting the integrity of historical and cultural sites and structures under its jurisdictions.

Likewise, building officials were asked to do the same prior to issuing permits or certificates for such construction or demolition activities on declared heritage structures or structures near or adjoining such heritage structures.

Sections 15 and 16, Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution mandates the State to conserve, develop, promote and popularize the nation’s historical and cultural heritage and resources.

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