The provincial government is keen on pushing for the conservation and restoration of old buildings and structures in the capital’s so-called “heritage district,” which is the upper part of the city center that used to be the old town’s main hub.
Ceasar Sammy Magbanua, chief of staff and head of the province’s culture and arts program, called for measures and initiatives to protect buildings with a declaration.
“Kung napansin niyo sa may part ng cathedral ay maraming bahay na luma, kasama ‘yan dapat sa ide-declare o kung baga ay hindi pwedeng galawin without proper consultation,” Magbanua said.
“Doon tayo kulang, marami tayo pero hindi lang napapangalagaan unlike sa ibang countries, mahalaga ang kasaysayan na maprotektahan at mapangalagaan kasi it is part of our identity,” he added.
The provincial government had already announced plans to fix up the Old Governor’s Mansion, which is near the pier and the Immaculate Conception Cathedral.
Initiatives to restore other historically significant landmarks within the heritage district, according to Magbanua, have long been initiated.
“May initiative na irestore at irehabilitate yan during the time of former governor (Jose) Alvarez kasi may naging project ang USAID in partnership with the province and the city. In fact, they came up with the PPC Urban Development Center, na kung saan kasama sa ide-develop sana ay ‘yong limang sites dyan na may historical significance kagaya ng Eulalia Park, Plaza Cuartel, Rizal Park, and ‘yong Governor’s Mansion,” he said.
He added that a technical working group was formed by the city and the provincial government to develop the area as a tourism destination and preserve its heritage and history.