Bong Go commends PRRD for signing laws protecting heritage and cultural sites in Cebu and Ilocos Sur
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go hailed the Duterte administration’s efforts to preserve the nation’s cultural heritage following the enactment of two new laws that will establish heritage zones in Carcar City, Cebu and San Vicente, Ilocos Sur.
Republic Acts Nos. 11644 and 11645 were approved by President Rodrigo Duterte on January 14. The laws require the conservation, restoration and preservation of all cultural monuments and sites of historical significance in the areas covered for the benefit of future generations.
“The culture of the maipagmamalaki natin like Pilipino. It is the ipinamana in the ninuno na angking yaman ing bansa. Dapat lang na protektahan the heritage sites in this area for the susunod na henerasyon,” Go pointed out.
“Ako naman est patuloy na sumusuporta. Kung ano ang puwede kong maitulong para maiwasan ang possible pagkasira ng mga heritage sites is naririto lang ako,” pledged Go, who is a member of the Senate Committee for Basic Education, Arts and Culture.
Heritage areas, as defined by the National Cultural Heritage Act 2009, are historical, anthropological, archaeological and artistic geographical areas and places that are of cultural significance to the country, as declared by the National Museum or the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
RA 11644 declares the town of Carcar a heritage zone, thus enhancing and preserving the monuments, in particular all the century-old houses of architectural and historical importance in the town. Originally called Sialao, Carcar was officially proclaimed a city in the 16th century and is one of the oldest settlements in the province.
By law, a development plan for the preservation, conservation, restoration and maintenance of cultural and historic sites and structures must also be drawn up by the Department of Tourism, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the city government, among others. The NCCA is required to approve only those methods and materials that strictly adhere to international conservation standards.
Republic Act No. 11645 also establishes a heritage area in San Vicente, Ilocos Sur to protect the historical and cultural integrity of the area. The city was founded by Spanish colonizer Juan De Salcedo in 1573.
As such, Carcar City and San Vicente will be granted priority development by the DOT, in coordination with the provincial government and the city or town government, the NCCA and its affiliated cultural agencies, and other agencies nationals concerned.
During this time, the legislature has supported various infrastructure development initiatives to support Cebu’s local economy in his capacity as Vice Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
Among these are the improvement of existing roads in Alcantara, Alcoy, Alegria, Asturias, Balamban, Boljoon, Borbon, Carmen, Madridejos, Malabuyoc, Minglanilla, Moalboal, Pinamungajan, Sibonga, Sogod, Tabogon, Tabuelan, Carcar City and Naga City; construction of multipurpose buildings in Bantayan Island, Barili, Cordova, Ginatilan, Pilar, Tabogon and Talisay City; and improving flood mitigation structures in Catmon and Tuburan.
In Ilocos Sur, Go has also supported the construction of a river wall along the Buaya River in Santa Cruz, the construction of multipurpose buildings in Santa and Sigay, the construction of evacuation centers in Santa Maria and Sigay, the construction of a sports facility in Santa Maria, and construction of multi-purpose gymnasiums for Tay-ac National High School in Bantay and Rappaac-Bato Elementary School in Cabugao, among others.