MANILA – The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) has requested Banaue Mayor Jerry Dalipog to suspend the construction of a seven-storey parking building in Barangay Poblacion, Banaue, Ifugao.
In a letter addressed to Dalipog, the NCCA said, “We respectfully request you to immediately cease the implementation of the construction of the ‘P55-Million medium rise multi-level parking facility’ in Banaue town proper in order to protect the Outstanding Universal Value of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras-Banaue Cluster."
An NCCA coordinator told ABS-CBN News that the letter is not a cease-and-desist order.
He explained that the construction of the building must be suspended so that the local government and those against the construction of the building can talk.
Dalipog said they will not temporarily halt the building’s construction.
“We have to continue with the construction. Isu-submit naman namin anytime this week iyung sagot namin sa kanila,” he said.
Atty. Placido Wachayna, who represents those opposing the project, said, “Sana pakinggan ng mga opisyales namin dito sa Banaue. Galing naman sa NCCA ‘yan at talaga namang hindi natin maitatago na heritage area ang Banaue. Sana lang respetuhin.”
Some parties objected to the construction of the parking building as the area serves as the venue for cultural activities like the Imbayah Festival.
They also believe that the building will destroy the view surrounding the Rice Terraces, in the same way that the Torre de Manila has been dubbed the “national photobomber” for destroying the line of sight of the monument of our national hero, Jose Rizal.