VIGAN CITY - Considered as an architectural marvel and a priceless legacy, the Ayusan-Paoa Spanish-era bridge situated in this city was declared a National Cultural Treasure (NCT) by the National Museum.
The bridge was possibly constructed on 1842 based on documents presented. This makes it an integral part of the Mestizo District of the city, which was declared an NCT in 1975.
Vigan City chairman of the Committee on Heritage Conservation Councilor Francisco Ranches III was grateful for the declaration, which happened Monday.
In 2015, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) had planned to demolish the old bridge to be replaced with a new one but this was opposed by different groups.
Instead of replacing the old bridge, a new bridge was built beside it.
“Ang sabi ng DPWH, sira na so kailangan ng palitan ng bago pero dahil nga ito ay historical at part ng heritage, kinontra namin ni Konsehal Kisses Agdamag at ito na ang isang magandang epekto, napanatili natin ito at ngayon ay isa ng National Cultural Treasure," Raches said.
He also said the declaration might bring about programs for the preservation and beautification of the bridge, as well as to know the history behind its construction.
Education program supervisor for HEKASI Edgar Pescador of the Vigan City Schools Division said that the declaration of the bridge as an NCT proves the richness of heritage sites in the city.
He also expressed hope that its beauty can be preserved for the future generation.
“Kaya 'yung mga kabataan mahalin, alagaan at ipagmalaki ang mga iniingatan natin na yaman dahil ito ang magpapakilala sa mga Pilipino saan man sulok ng mundo," Pescador said.
The National Museum also declared the Intramuros monuments, Silang Church and the Pagsanjan Arch as National Cultural Treasures.