The city government is undertaking a project that will map Puerto Princesa’s cultural heritage.
The local government is set to enter into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the University of Santo Tomas (UST), Palawan State University (PSU), Western Philippines University (WPU), and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) to undertake the project in 35 urban barangays.
The City Council moved a resolution, sitting at committee level for deliberation, paving the wag for the MOA signing.
Engineer Jovenee Sagun, City Planning Office (CPO) chief, said Monday during a City Council session that there is a need for written documentation of “tangible and intangible assets”, citing it as a “sense of place” to have written documentation not just for the historical-cultural assets, but written documentation for the natural resources as well.
“Wala tayong written documentation ng mga tangible and intangible asset na ito. Marami tayong mga stories, marami tayong practices na hindi na-document at ito ngayon ang purpose ng endeavor na ito—to document all this. Magkaroon ng written documentation hindi lang ‘yong mga cultural assets na historical kundi maging ‘yong mga natural resources natin. It’s a sense of place na tinatawag natin,” she said.
With a target of P860,000 still pending deliberation to bankroll the project, the training of the instructors is set to start on Friday (October 30).
Jaztin Robert D. Altea, division chief of Plans and Programs Division of the Office of the City Planning and Development Coordinator (OCPDC), said that cultural heritage mapping is a highly technical and tedious process that would need guidance that may be provided by the UST experts.
“Important to note that UST-Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (CCCPET) has the expertise in cultural mapping and we want them to teach us and capacitate also our local educators and researchers on how to conduct cultural mapping,” Altea said.
Altea also defined information technology (IT) integration, an online platform to document cultural resources as a “useful tool” for the local government unit (LGU) to better conserve and protect cultures as the city does not have yet complete documentation for its cultural resources.
“This includes ‘yong making use of geographical information system as well as data analytics so that’s useful tool for the LGU to conserve, promote, and protect the cultural assets. For Puerto Princesa, wala pa siyang complete documentation for the cultural resources that we need to protect,” he said.
The cultural heritage mapping project is a mere component of the OCPDC project for the formulation of the “Local Culture and Arts Plan”. (with a report from Romar Miranda)