Cebu News

City’s heritage sites need more protection

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Acknowledging that much are still needed to be done for the protection and preservation of heritage sites, the Cebu City government is hosting a two-day heritage summit starting yesterday.

Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia said the summit is considered a first of its kind not only for Cebu but for the rest of the country as far as initiative from the local government units is concerned.    

“This historical event will firstly be an avenue for us to have a definitive discussion, discourse, and, in a sense, also a celebration, of what makes us unique as a community, not only as a Sugbuanon but as our shared culture and identity as Subguanong’ Dakbayanon - or people of the City of Cebu,” Garcia said.

Crafting a heritage charter for Cebu City is the primary objective of the summit, Garcia said. The result will be subject for ratification by the members of the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission prior to its submission to the City Council for adoption.

“Our task is a mandate of the Philippine Constitution which, in Article 14, declares that the state has a duty to “conserve, promote and popularize the nation’s historical and cultural heritage and resources” as well as regulate its disposition,” Garcia said while also discussing the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009.

“Your Cebu City Council, which I now have the privilege and pleasure of steering, is at the forefront and has been so since the time of my father, former Mayor Alvin Garcia,” Garcia said.

According to him, City Ordinance No. 2582 or the Cultural and Heritage Site Declaration, Protection, and Preservation Ordinance, which covers historical structures, landmarks, and sites with local significance and importance against risks and fortuitous events was passed during the incumbency of his father as mayor.

However, the vice mayor emphasized that the ordinance is not enough. The City Council, Garcia said, needs guidance in further expanding and enhancing its preservation and protection of one’s heritage.

“By sharing your concerns and ideas on the management of local heritage as an important factor in the city’s development and formulating a declaration, through a Heritage Charter, you will be able to help us tremendously,” Garcia said.

Based on the working draft of the Cebu City Heritage Charter, such will serve as bases for the protection, preservation and promotion of heritage sites.

It was emphasized that development and conservation are complementary and not contradictory in nature.

“Heritage can serve as inspiration and driver for socio-economic development,” part of the draft states.

Guidelines in rebuilding heritage sites are also very needed now especially since the City of Cebu is vulnerable to natural hazards. — FPL (FREEMAN)


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