Ilocos Sur seeks check on structural integrity of century-old bridges

Bryan Realgo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 09 2017 08:52 PM

The Ilocos Sur provincial board's committee on infrastructure, public works and utilities has passed a resolution requesting the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, the Department of Public Works and Highways and other concerned agencies to check the structural integrity of all century-old bridges in the province.

Board Member Jaime Singson said it is important for the province, known for promoting its rich culture and heritage, to identify all possible programs that would help preserve all its heritage and cultural properties.

Among century-old bridges identified for inspection are those found in the towns of Sta. Maria and Santa and world-renowned Vigan City.

“Mahalaga na i-check natin ang tibay o ang structural integrity ng mga lumang tulay na hanggang ngayon ay ginagamit pa rin para makita din ng mga dalubhasa kung ano ang mga proyekto or programa na kailangang gawin para mapanatili para sa mga susunod pa na henerasyon,” Singson said.

In July, the National Museum declared the Ayusan–Paoa bridge in Vigan as a national cultural treasure, the same recognition Singson wants for the century-old bridges in Sta Maria and Santa.

Meanwhile, the National Museum said residents and local officials may nominate old bridges in their towns for possible recognition.

“Any individual can nominate, kasi hindi naman lahat ay nakikita ng mga personnel ng national government, mahalaga ang pagkilala sa pinakamaliit na sitio sa mga barangay," said Racquel Flores of the National Museum.

"Once nominated, titingnan natin ang kaniyang aesthetics, 'yung kaniyang arkitektura at ang kagalingan ng kaniyang pagkaka-inhinyero na tumagal ng panahon. Kadalasan mga naging saksi ng giyera, naging saksi ng malalakas na kalamidad at ganunpaman ay nilampasan niya ang lahat ng 'yon,” said Flores. 

In 2011, ten Spanish-era bridges in Quezon province were also declared as national cultural treasures. Heritage advocates in Ilocos Sur believe that Quezon's old bridges are similar to those in Ilocos Sur.