Ilocos Norte urges preservation of 65 cultural properties

The province of Ilocos Norte has listed a total of 65 important cultural properties mostly composed of pre-hispanic churches and bridges, Gabaldon (heritage) school buildings, watch towers, historical monuments, and public parks, including a century-old mother acacia tree. To ensure its protection and preservation, Ilocos Norte Board Member Saul Lazo, chairman of the committee on education and culture, said on Tuesday that they approved on March 27 a resolution adopting the local inventory of cultural properties and endorsing the same to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Previously, a cultural mapping was conducted by the different local government units of Ilocos Norte which resulted in the local inventory of cultural properties. "There is a need for the province to adopt and endorse the local inventory of cultural properties in order to comply with the complete documentary and minimum requirements needed to secure a certificate of compliance which is used primarily as a proof of compliance to RA (Republic Act) 10066 (National Cultural Heritage Act),' Lazo said. RA 10066 created the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property and took other steps to preserve historic buildings that are over 50 years old. It was signed into law on March 25, 2009. Having a local inventory of cultural property is also one of the Department of the Interior and Local Government's assessment criteria for the Seal of Good Local Governance for LGUs. Heritage advocate Bernard Joseph Guerrero of Paoay town said the key to protecting and preserving cultural property is not just to make a quick listing of all the cultural properties but also to define what is locally important on the municipal, provincial, and national level sites. "All nationally protected sites should be provincial sites. But not all municipal level sites are worthy of being of provincial importance,' Guerrero said. One of these cultural properties is the 200-year-old Paoay Bridge popularly known as 'Lumang Tulay' (old bridge) located within the boundary of Barangays San Juan and Nambaran which is now installed with a new historical marker courtesy of the National Museum of the Philippines

Source: Philippines News Agency