The state now bans the demolition and or tampering of buildings including private houses that are over 50 years old and mandates the securing or permits so the country’s experts can determine the heritage value of such structures.
The National Museum (NM), through its Acting Assistant Director and NM Chief of the Cultural Properties Division Angel Bautista said the law provides that these buildings be first assessed for their cultural and heritage value by the NM, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and the National Library of the Philippines or the National Archives of the Philippines for private records.
Citing Republic Act 10066 or the Heritage Law, Section on cultural properties categorizes cultural properties whether public or privately owned, movable or immovable, and tangible or intangible, works of great men which are over 50 years old should be registered in the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property (PRCP) as they are considered important cultural properties.
And according to the same law, only until these properties have been delisted from the registry and cleared by the NHCP from any cultural or heritage value, nobody is allowed to modify, demolish or ruin it, Dir Bautista stressed.
The earthquake that hit Bohol in 2013 spurred a flurry of house rebuilding activities that several of Bohol’s buildings with heritage value took the heavy brunt.
Most of the buildings however have not been listed in the PRCP as these should have been culturally mapped by LGUs, according to Bautista.
There are many churches which has been declared as National Cultural Treasures (NCT) or Important Cultural Property (ICP) were modified by the clergy without asking permission since they are ignorant of the law.
The ICP refers to cultural heritage pieces with cultural, artistic and historical significance in society based on the analysis by the National Museum, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, National Library of the Philippines or by the National Archives of the Philippines.
Any private or public-built heritage edifice should be first assessed by agencies and be given permission prior to any modification or demolition says Bautista.
Section 28 of the Heritage Law said agencies have authority to come up with Cease and Desist Order (CDO) if it has been determined any modification or demolition leads of any NCT or ICP may endanger the physical integrity causing the damage of its original form.
The local government which has the territorial jurisdiction of the cultural property, shall make a report to the concerned agencies about the demolition or modification. It shall ensure the modification or demolition shall not cause any further damage to the structure.
The CDO shall be lifted only if it has been assessed the property has no cultural significance or value, said Bautista. (PIA)