Bong Go

Bong Go lauds PRRD for signing laws protecting heritage cultural sites in Cebu, Ilocos Sur

January 18, 2022 People's Journal 316 views

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go praised the Duterte Administration’s efforts to preserve the nation’s cultural heritage following the enactment of two new laws which will establish heritage zones in Carcar City, Cebu and San Vicente, Ilocos Sur.

Republic Act Nos. 11644 and 11645 were approved by President Rodrigo Duterte on January 14. The laws mandate the conservation, restoration and preservation of all cultural landmarks and sites of historical significance in the covered zones for the benefit of future generations.

“Ang ating kultura ang maipagmamalaki natin bilang mga Pilipino. Ito ang ipinamana sa atin ng ating mga ninuno na angking yaman ng ating bansa. Dapat lang na protektahan ang mga heritage sites na ito para sa mga susunod na henerasyon,” Go stressed.

“Ako naman ay patuloy na sumusuporta. Kung ano ang puwede kong maitulong para maiwasan ang posibleng pagkasira ng mga heritage sites ay naririto lang ako,” pledged Go, who serves as a member of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.

Heritage zones, as defined by the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009, are historical, anthropological, archaeological, artistic geographical areas and settings that are culturally significant to the country, as declared by the National Museum or the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

RA 11644 declares the City of Carcar a heritage zone, thus promoting and preserving the landmarks, particularly all century-old architecturally significant and historic houses in the city. Originally called Sialao, Carcar was officially proclaimed a town in the 16th century and is one of the oldest settlements in the province.

Under the law, a development plan for the preservation, conservation, restoration and maintenance of the cultural and historical sites and structures shall also be developed by the Department of Tourism, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the city government, among others. The NCCA is directed to approve only methods and materials that strictly adhere to international standards of conservation.

Republic Act No. 11645 similarly establishes a heritage zone within San Vicente, Ilocos Sur to protect the historical and cultural integrity of the area. The town was founded by Spanish colonizer Juan De Salcedo in 1573.

As such, both Carcar City and San Vicente will be accorded priority development by the DOT, in coordination with the provincial government and city or municipal government, the NCCA and its affiliated cultural agencies, and other concerned national agencies.

Meanwhile, the lawmaker has supported various infrastructure development initiatives to bolster the local economy of Cebu in his capacity as Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance.

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 improvement of flood mitigation structures in Catmon and Tuburan.

In Ilocos Sur, Go also supported the construction of a river wall along the Buaya River in Santa Cruz, construction of multipurpose buildings in Santa and Sigay, construction of evacuation centers in Santa Maria and Sigay, construction of a sports facility in Santa Maria, and construction of multipurpose gyms for the Tay-ac National High School in Bantay and Reppaac-Bato Elementary School in Cabugao, among others.