How to balance heritage with the demands of a modern city? In exploring ways to preserve the rich cultural character of Manila, the City Government of Manila invited stakeholders to present their opinions. Among organizations invited was ICOMOS Philippines, represented by Trustee Erik Akpedonu, co-author (with Fernando Zialcita) of “Endangered Splendor: Manila’s Architectural Heritage 1571-1960.
“Manila’s Tourism Stakeholder’s Seminar/Workshop on Cultural Mapping and Inventory” was the Tourism Month celebration, the City Government of Manila’s Department of Tourism, Culture and Arts of Manila (DTCAM), held the last September 22, 2022, at Universidad De Manila.
Mr. Akpedonu proposed a number of legislative measures to better protect built heritage in Manila:
- To legislate (by city ordinance or executive order) that the Office of the Building Official, before issuing demolition, renovation, or redevelopment permits, not only cross-check the proposed development site against the list of officially NCCA/NHCP- or LGU-declared heritage structures (as is currently the case), but to also cross-check against a list of PRESUMED IMPORTANT CULTURAL PROPERTIES (buildings 50 years and older, works of National Artists, etc.) as defined by Republic Act 10066 (The Heritage Act) and as compiled by PRECUP and Manila`s own Tourism Office, before issuing such permits;
- To make public by online posting the minutes of all official meetings discussing any variations to any existing zoning laws for specific individual constrictions projects (which to date does not seem to be the case); and
- To exempt declared heritage structures and Presumed Important Cultural Properties from Property Tax under certain conditions.
The meeting was attended by representatives from Manila`s Tourism Office and Office of the Building Official, barangay chairpersons, various NGOs (e.g., Grupo Kalinangan, SAHTA, ICOMOS PH) and the academe (e.g., Dela Salle University, Mapua University).
Mr. Akpedonu is co-author (with Fernando Zialcita) of “Endangered Splendor: Manila’s Architectural Heritage 1571-1960 (Volume 1: The Center)”, a complete compendium of Spanish, American and early independence period structures. The book chronicles the story of Manila’s rise during the galleon trade from a small port to the nation’s capital and the evolution of its heritage architecture. It is also a commentary on the current state of our built heritage, with discussions of current restoration practices, revitalization, and proposed economic uses for its preservation and protection. Book Preview: Facebook Watch
To know more about the book, visit and/or order in this link ➡️ http://bitly.ws/uGqb
For more information on ICOMOS Philippines ➡️ https://philippines.icomos.org/
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