Senate to probe demolition of Manila heritage sites

By , on November 9, 2014


Youngsters enjoy the serene ambiance at the Wall of Intramuros in Manila on Wednesday (June 25, 2014) as the city celebrates and remembers Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the Spanish conquistador who established a permanent settlement in Manila on June 24, 1571 and ordered the construction of the walled city of Intramuros. (PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)
Youngsters enjoy the serene ambiance at the Wall of Intramuros in Manila on Wednesday (June 25, 2014) as the city celebrates and remembers Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the Spanish conquistador who established a permanent settlement in Manila on June 24, 1571 and ordered the construction of the walled city of Intramuros. (PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)

MANILA – Senators will be conducting an inquiry on the demolition of several heritage sites in Manila, including those in the historical walled city in Intramuros.

Sen. Loren Legarda noted on the public’s lack of appreciation for historic sites adding that these heritage had are now endangered.

She cited the demolition of old Army and Navy Club, the Admiral Hotel, and Michel Apartments, to pave the way for modern developments.

“The rich and colorful history of the country is reflected in the architectural landscape of Manila which was intended as a planned capital city akin to Washington DC, designed by noted architect Daniel Burnham (of Baguio City fame) and created with wide, tree-lined boulevards dominated by the Luneta Park and government buildings in neoclassical style,” Legarda said in a resolution.

The Army and Navy Club is located on Roxas Boulevard, and is now partially demolished as a private developer wants to renovate it into a boutique hotel.

The demolition of the said American-era building was stopped by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has also filed a resolution inquiring on the reported plan of the Department of Public Works and Highways to demolish several structures in Intramuros.

The sites include the Anda Circle Monument, to speed up the flow of cargo trucks from the port area.

“Congress must ensure, by intensifying legislation, that the physical manifestations of the Filipinos’ national heritage are preserved and protected,” she said.