NHCP Gives Green Light for City Hall Improvement

NHCP Gives Green Light for City Hall Improvement

June 20, 2015

BAGUIO CITY – the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) interposes no objection to the improvements being made in the city hall grounds here.

This was clarified by NHCP Chair Dr. Maria Serena Diokno thru a letter dated May 21, 2015 and received by City Mayor Mauricio Domogan June 15.

NCHP Chair Diokno clarified in a letter that with reference to the on-going project at the Baguio City Hall grounds and upon ocular inspection and review of the development plans by our architects, the perimeter fence is acceptable because it is made up of see through grilles whose purpose is to secure the city hall premises from vandals, intruders and looters.”

“The perimeter fence does not obstruct the view of the City Hall,”it said.

The NHCP Chair also said with regards to the improvements of the flagpole area which includes the construction of a stage and a mini museum below it also does not obstruct the dominance and prominence of the City Hall building.

It said however that any changes and additional improvements in the area of the Baguio City Hall should be coordinated with the NHCP to avoid any misunderstanding or confusion.

Diokno finally said, “the NHCP looks forward to receiving the request to declare the City Hall area a National Historical Landmark.”

Diokno said, “such declaration would entail the identification of the buffer zone and guidelines that will protect and preserve the landmark.”

The NHCP will be awaiting these details thru a city ordinance.

It can be recalled that a Cease and Desist Order was issued by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Chairman Felipe De Leon, Jr. directing the City government of Baguio to immediately stop the implementation of the improvement project in the City Hall grounds.

It anchored its order on Republic Act No. 10066 Sec. 48 which states that any modification, alteration or destruction of the original features of, or undertakes construction of real estate development in any national shrine, monument, landmark and other historic edifices and structures declared, classified and marked by the NHCP, inclusive of their designated security or buffer zones extending five meters from the visible perimeter of them onument or site, is not allowed without the prior written permission of the NCCA.

Domogan however argued that the City Hall building ground improvement is meant for beautification and security purposes./Paul Rillorta