MANILA -- A petition has been filed to remove the Ramon Cojuangco Building (RCB) in Makati City as an important cultural property (ICP).
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) made the announcement on its social media pages on Tuesday.
RCB, located at Makati Avenue, is the work of National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin.
The petition was filed by local telecommunications company Philippine Long Distance Telephone Inc. (PLDT), which commissioned Locsin to design the building in 1974.
"Notice is hereby served that the Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) Inc. has filed with the NCCA a Petition to Remove the Presumption of Ramon Cojuangco Building, a Work of National Artist for Architecture Leandro V. Locsin, as an Important Cultural Property," NCCA said.
In the petition, PLDT said the RCB "does not demonstrate exceptional cultural, artistic, and historical significance," and thus "cannot be regarded as an ICP."
More specifically, the company said the structure "does not represent the iconic works" of Locsin, as it is "generic, nondescript, and purged of any references to local culture, tradition, climate, or identity of the place."
The RCB was completed and inaugurated in 1982. The 15-story building houses PLDT's offices and also has a roof deck, podium garden, and three basement levels.
PLDT said it intends to transform the structure into a "modern, ecologically sustainable, and open campus-type headquarters."
Section 5 of Republic Act 10066 states that works by a National Artist are considered ICPs unless otherwise declared by the NCCA. Locsin was declared National Artist for Architecture in 1990 by the late President Corazon Aquino.
NCCA said the public can send their written support or opposition to PLDT's petition via email until June 7.