Cultural and environment activists are trying to enlist public support to block the construction of a high-rise condominium building that they claim will destroy the public’s view of the Rizal Monument in Rizal Park.
Tour guide Carlos Celdran has initiated an online petition and has even put up a Facebook page to call on DMCI Holdings to abandon its plan to build the 41-story Torre de Manila Condominium on Taft Avenue, behind the lot previously occupied by the Manila Jai Alai building.
In his posts on Facebook and another social networking site, Tumblr, Celdran said, “It is outside [the park] but it impedes on the sanctity of the heritage landscape. You think any mayor or developer in Paris would allow an ugly private condo to be built right behind the Eiffel Tower? I’m sorry. But they should find a new lot. This looks like an interesting legal battle for the new law [on national heritage sites].”
In the online petition (http://www.change.org/petitions/no-to-dmci-s-torre-de-manila-project), the condominium project was compared to the two factory chimney stacks (demolished in 2009) that had also ruined people’s view of the Rizal Monument.
Celdran called on Filipinos to speak up about the future building and for DMCI to rethink the project.
“Not only is this building offensive to our national hero, our national identity and all things good and true—but it’s also a ridiculous investment,” he said as he warned prospective buyers about traffic and the possibility of losing view of the Manila Bay sunset since the building was on “sandwich property” or in the center of the block.