Intramuros exec wants informal settlers out
The Intramuros Administration will relocate most of the informal settlers living within the “walled city” of Manila as part of its efforts to spruce up the historic district after an international conservation group described the area as facing “irreparable loss and destruction.”
Intramuros Administrator Jose Capistrano Jr. Monday said that they were working with Gawad Kalinga to provide a resettlement area and housing for the 3,000 families squatting in the area.
“We’re not thinking of taking them all out. I think some of them will stay,” Capistrano said in a press conference.
Earlier, Global Heritage Fund (GHF) which is based in Palo Alto, California, warned that modernization, development pressures and insufficient management posed a danger to Intramuros and Fort Santiago.
But George Sycip, a GHF director who was at the press conference, said that all was not lost for Intramuros.
“The term endangered is often used in the United State as a call to action. It doesn’t mean that it is a hopeless cause. On the
contrary, it means there is a potential to conserve and restore whatever is endangered,” Sycip said.
“The opportunity is there to restore the sites so that the people will benefit from it. In the case of Intramuros, the tourism potential could be quite large here. From half a million (visitors), you could improve it to two to three million per year,” he added.
Conservationist and Inquirer columnist
Augusto Villalon said GHF already had a project in place to get informal settlers in Intramuros to appreciate its heritage and historical significance.
“This is the first step in getting the community involved in future heritage and tourism projects,” Villalon said.
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