Enough of bad news even if just for a short while. Let’s have some good news from renowned heritage advocate, Arch. Joel Vivero Rico…
With the above-mentioned revision of the demolition permit application, heritage buildings, including those that are over 50 years old, have a stronger fighting chance against wanton demolitions. According to Arch. Rico, he submitted a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte early this year for the possible revision of the current demolition permit form that is used nationwide by the Office of the Building Official (a local government unit division).
It should be noted that the current form does not have any provision for non-issuance if the applied structure for demolition is already old or is architecturally significant. In short, there is almost no hassle at all in demolishing any old structure, even it if it’s culturally and historically relevant. But Arch. Rico’s draft explicitly refers the application to any of the three cultural agencies involved (the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the National Museum of the Philippines, and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines) for verification or rejection of the application subject to the provisions of Republic Act No. 10066 or the “National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009”.
Clearly, this is another win for the conservation of our country’s built heritage. Congratulations to the parties involved, most especially to Arch. Joel Vivero Rico. May your tribe increase!
For now, let us wait for the next move coming from the President and his allies in Congress.