NCCA won’t allow delisting of 4 PH churches from World Heritage Sites
MANILA, Philippines — The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA) on Thursday said it will not allow the delisting of the country’s centuries-old churches from the World Heritage Sites.
The construction of the China-funded Binondo-Intramuros bridge may encroach on the buffer zone prescribed for the San Agustin Church in Intramuros and could delist the centuries-old church from the World Heritage List.
If San Agustin is delisted, three other churches — San Agustin in Paoay, Ilocos Norte; Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur; and Santo Tomas de Villanueva in Miag-ao, Iloilo — would also be delisted.
NCCA Commissioner Father Harold Rentoria said they have been coordinating with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the implementing agency of the project.
“We are waiting for the submission of the archeological assessment and the heritage impact assessments. So until this time, we’re waiting for the studies; then after that, we are going to decide because as of this time, we have not yet given the clearance, of course,” Rentoria said in a press briefing in Malacañang.
He said the DPWH has “suspended the work for the meantime while waiting for the completion of the studies.”
He said the studies would determine whether the construction of the bridge would encroach into the buffer zone of the San Agustin Church.
If the study finds that the buffer zone would be affected, Rentoria said they would “talk to the DPWH.”
But he assured the public that NCCA won’t allow the delisting of the churches.
“Yes for sure, we are not going to allow delisting of the churches,” he said.
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