The Heritage Conservation Society (HCS) and the International Council on Monuments and Sites – Philippines (ICOMOS-PH), as regards the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC), respectfully state the following:
1. We reiterate our gratitude to the cultural agencies, specifically the National Museum (NM) and the National Historical Commission (NHCP), for their declarations on RMSC as an Important Cultural Property and a National Historical Landmark, respectively.
2. We particularly note with approval the NHCP’s declaration that outlines the significance of RMSC as a historical site – as a venue for the Far Eastern Games and in subsequent athletic, religious. political, and social events; its role in World War II and its reconstruction thereafter; and its architectural design in the Art Deco style by Juan Arellano, one of the country’s most significant architects.
3. Having thus outlined the statement of significance of the site, it is the duty of the cultural agencies, consistent with international best practices, to require the preparation of a conservation management plan (CMP) by qualified experts, under its control and supervision, to ensure that the significance of the site is respected and preserved.
4. A CMP should be prepared prior to detailed site, architectural and engineering development planning, and the CMP should in fact guide and provide the parameters of such development planning, just as the preparation of a environmental impact study and securing an environmental compliance certificate guide development planning.
5. The CMP should then be presented to, and evaluated by, stakeholders in a manner similar to that provided under Section 8 of Republic Act No. 10066, (the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009), reflecting the fundamental principles of Sections 4 to 7 of Republic Act No. 7356 (the Charter of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts). Further, any CMP should be defined by public accessibility as provided by Section 40, and provide the parameters of a heritage agreement, as required by Section 18 of Republic Act No. 10066.
6. We reiterate our support for progress and development, and recognize the need for cities to evolve, but in the context of the sustainability of cultural significance through conservation, as provided under Republic Act No. 10066.
This Joint Statement was signed by Mark Richard Evidente, President of Heritage Conservation Society and Dominic Galicia, President of ICOMOS Philippines
Post Script Note: ICOMOS Philippines created a small working group which submitted a World Monuments Watch Nomination for its 2018 cycle. Research findings were shared by Gabriel Caballero at the mASEANa conference in Jakarta that happened in January 2018.