Townsfolk rejoice freeze of plan to destroy town plaza | Inquirer News
Close  
HOMETOWN Snapshot

Townsfolk rejoice freeze of plan to destroy town plaza

/ 01:56 AM December 21, 2011

SAN JOSE, Batangas—Residents here were rejoicing after officials decided to freeze plans to build a new municipal building at the center of this town’s heritage plaza.

Gracia Ona, former chair of the San Jose historical committee, said she was “very happy to learn about the decision” to spare the old plaza.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The Municipal Development Council (MDC) is shelving the plan to put up a new municipal building for now,” said Municipal Administrator Constantino Briones in an interview on Monday.

The MDC plan to build a P60-million building in front of the old municipal hall to accommodate more offices for the growing local bureaucracy had generated opposition, especially from longtime residents keen on preserving the town’s heritage.

FEATURED STORIES

Briones, brother of Mayor Entiquio Briones, said MDC’s decision was made public on Dec. 15.

He said the council arrived at the decision because the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) had maintained its position against MDC’s plan.

In a letter to Mayor Briones on Sept. 18, Maria Serena Diokno, NHCP chair, had urged town officials to keep the 1,000-square meter plaza as an open, free space.

It was NHCP’s second letter to town officials on the same issue after a first one dated July 5.

Diokno said San Jose’s open air plaza dated back to the 16th century, when “royal ordinances” stipulated that center plazas should be accessible and no other structures should be built around it, “except when (the structure) contributes to … beauty.”

The town plaza is surrounded by the Shrine of St. Joseph the Patriarch, which was built in 1788, a school and the municipal hall.

“Your proposed municipal building will shatter the beauty of the plaza and deny the residents and citizens of San Jose a right they and future generations ought to enjoy,” Diokno said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Vice Mayor Jose Nereus Agbing said MDC arrived “at a consensus” not to pursue the plan to put up a new municipal building in the 16th century old plaza.

Constantino said, however, that the new municipal building was still included in the annual investment plan of the town for the next 10 years.

He said a “third party” had expressed willingness to donate a lot in a nearby village for the proposed new building.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Batangas, Gracia Ona, heritage plaza, San Jose historical committee, San Jose town
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.