DEPUTY Speaker and Buhay Hayaang Yumabong (Buhay) party-list Rep. Lito Atienza on Sunday said he wants Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso to lead the agency tasked to protect and preserve the historic 64-hectare walled district of Intramuros, which is turning 500 years old this year.
“Congress should give back to the mayor of Manila the responsibility of conserving Intramuros as well as other the national historical and cultural treasures within the city, in the spirit of local autonomy and decentralization,” Atienza, former three-term mayor of Manila, said.
Atienza has filed House Bill (HB) 2592, which seeks to put the city mayor of Manila “fully in charge of safeguarding the priceless heritage of the past” as the new chairperson of the Intramuros Administration (IA).
The IA runs Intramuros – from zoning and the leasing of public properties to the regulation of motor vehicle traffic and the use of streets inside the fortified district.
The mayor of Manila governed Intramuros until 1979. That year, President Ferdinand Marcos decreed the creation of the IA under the now-defunct Ministry of Human Settlements “to restore and administer the development of Intramuros as a monument to the Hispanic period of Philippine history.”
Imelda Marcos was the first chairperson of the IA in her capacity as Minister of Human Settlements.
President Corazon Aquino transferred the IA to the Department of Tourism in 1987.
Atienza previously filed two separate bills seeking to revert to the Manila city government the supervision of the 58-hectare Rizal Park and the seven-hectare Club Intramuros Golf Course currently managed by the National Parks Development Committee and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, respectively.