Church head urges follow up work on heritage sites

>> Friday, March 24, 2017

By Gina Dizon

BONTOC, MOUNTAIN PROVINCE - Responding to a resolution hastening work  on the declaration of   old buildings in the Mission Compound as heritage sites during the recent  convention here of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Philippines (EDNP),  Diocesan Bishop Brent Alawas  forwarded that initial work  be followed up from concerned offices.  
                Delegates from the more than a century-old Church of St Mary the Virgin  (CSMV) in their congregational  resolution identified  four centennial-old old structures  namely the Girl’s Dorm, Boys Dorm or the Lyceum,  Mission Office and the Printing and Carpentry Shop at Latang be declared as  heritage buildings  and undergo restoration.
                Bishop Alawas said he has already given his endorsement in 2014  to a  separate petition forwarded by interested person and CSMV member Angel Luke Bagano to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) for the  restoration and preservation of said  structures  as heritage sites.
                The NHCP in its  guidelines  accommodates petition of a concerned citizen/ stakeholder, private owner, government  agency and the NHCP itself with   supporting  documents in the recognition of a heritage site or building.
                Earlier,Alawas in his message during the 2012  centennial program of  St Mary’s School urged  that efforts be done towards the designation of the Girls Dormitory as a Heritage House by the  NHCP  and to seek their assistance in the preservation and maintenance of the centennial building.
                NHCP guidelines  provide that historic sites and structures listed in the National Registry shall enjoy the support and protection of the NHCP subject to the availability of funds.  The  National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009" or RA 10066  provides that the National  Commission on Culture and Arts (NCCA) may provide financial assistance in the form of a grant for conservation or research on cultural property.
                The RA 10066 identifies provisions for the application of a potential heritage  site as a national cultural treasure shall commence upon the filing of a petition by the owner, stakeholder or any interested person, with the NCCA  which shall refer the matter to the appropriate cultural agency.
                Upon verification of the suitability of the property as a national cultural property, the cultural agency concerned shall send notice of hearing to the owner and stakeholders including, but not limited to, local government units, local culture and arts council, local tourism councils, non-government conservation organizations, and schools, may be allowed to file their support or opposition to the petition.
                The Sangguniang Bayan of Sagada through a resolution has favorably endorsed the petition of  Bagano to the NHCP to declare the Mission Compound as a historic and   heritage site.


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