NHCP stops renovation of Antique church plaza | Inquirer News
Close  
DESECRATING A HISTORICAL SITE

NHCP stops renovation of Antique church plaza

/ 04:10 AM February 12, 2021

ILOILO CITY—The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) has ordered the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to stop the renovation of a church plaza in Anini-y town, Antique province, for “desecrating the spacious and magnificent façade of the church.”

NHCP Chair Rene Escalante issued a cease-and-desist order to Joselito Antonio, acting head of the DPWH district engineering office in Antique, suspending all rehabilitation activities at the plaza of St. John Nepomuceno parish church.

ADVERTISEMENT

In his Feb. 9 letter, Escalante also directed Antonio’s office to coordinate with the NHCP “immediately.”

The P19.29-million project involves the construction of a covered walkway in front of the church.

FEATURED STORIES

Escalante said the NHCP installed in August 2004 a historical marker at the church, pointing out that all Spanish and American period plazas and public structures were considered national historical sites.

EYESORE   The National Historical Commission of the Philippines says the covered walkway (left) being built in front of the St. John Nepomuceno parish church in Anini-y, Antique, has desecrated the façade of the 176-year-old Baroque church. —PHOTO COURTESY OF UP VISAYAS CHANCELLOR CLEMENT CAMPOSANO

Coordination

“Any untoward alteration or modification that might affect the historical and structural integrity of this church must be coordinated first with the national cultural agencies,” he said.

The church, which has undergone restoration by the NHCP, was built from coral stones in 1845 and was damaged during World War II in the 1940s and a typhoon in 1973.

In a statement, Antique Rep. Loren Legarda also asked the DPWH to stop the project.

“I will not allow any national or local government funds to be used for the desecration of any heritage building or cultural property. Clearly, the covered walkway being constructed in front of the St. John de Nepomuceno Church in Anini-y, as part of the rehabilitation project of the church plaza, is obstructing the magnificent view of the church and, in a way, desecrates this heritage site,” she said.

Legarda called on the DPWH to work closely with local government and parish officials, and the NHCP to “remedy this unfortunate situation in accordance with the law.”

Antonio said the DPWH on Monday would meet with representatives of the NHCP and other groups involved in the project to discuss their concerns.

ADVERTISEMENT

The project is about 50-percent complete and partially blocks the view of the left side of the church façade, he said.

—NESTOR P. BURGOS JR.

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: antique, Church, dpwh, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, renovation
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

News that matters

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.