NHCP urged: Allow repair of MP provincial capitol

>> Tuesday, May 2, 2017

By Roger Sacyaten

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Provincial officials and constituents urged the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to lift cease and desist order it imposed stopping restoration of the old provincial capitol building here. 
This, after a dialogue was held here Wednesday between concerned citizens and officials who wanted to improve the “eyesore” that is the provincial capitol.
Half of the provincial capitol building was demolished in 2013 to give way to a 3-storey building as proposed by the previous administration of the late Gov. Leonard Mayaen.
However, citing the structure’s significance for its historical and cultural heritage value, the NHCP issued a cease and desist order citing violation of law safeguarding destruction of the more than 50-year-old buildings.
The provincial capitol building built in 1907 by the Americans is now more than 100 years old.
Despite the lapse of more than a couple of years and despite pleadings from then Gov. Mayaen with support from local government units, the CDO was never lifted.
Lasst Wednesday, Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr., asked those in attendance for unity in achieving the goal of asking the NHCP to lift the CDO and pave the way for restoration of the demolished capitol building.
Lawyer Tomas Kiwang, provincial legal officer said, “Our goal here is for the lifting of the CDO.”
Those in attendance agreed to support reconstruction of the demolished capitol building with original façade integrated in restoration plan.
Fr. Marcial Castaňeda of the Bontoc-Lagawe Vicariate, asked the basis of the original façade saying his first observation of the capitol building was it had wooden panels.
The basis of restoration is the presently standing half building; meaning, the structure prior to demolition.
The present provincial administration, though conceding to the restoration of the 2-storey building had wanted to make underground excavation for multi-purpose use, not only parking as earlier reported.
It was agreed excavation be done only underneath the demolished portion. The other half won’t be excavated.
The final agreement was made but other participants wanted a division of the house.
Lacwasan batted for consensus – that the group support restoration of the demolished structure integrating original façade and the underground excavation underneath the demolished portion but any objection shall be accommodated.
It was finally agreed that all the matters discussed in the meeting will be brought to the NHCP for consideration of the government agency.
Those in attendance also included Fr. Elvie Tulingan of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Philippines, Angie Garado and Paula Acofo of the business sector, former provincial board member Ezra Gomez, Evelyn Miranda, Ciriaco Filog, and Florence Yawan as private stakeholders.
Also in attendance were Vice Gov. Francis Tauli, board members Tomas Tawagen and Andre Claver including lawyer Amador Batay-an among other provincial government employees.


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