Ifugao road works stopped

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Monday, August 4, 2014


THE National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) is intervening in road projects in Ifugao.

NCCA legal counsel and Heritage Office head Trixie Angles Cruz said the Department of Public Works and Highways has been asked to halt road projects in Ifugao for the sake of preservation of the renowned rice terraces.

Cruz said road projects in Hungduan, Kiangan and Banaue towns were stopped because DPWH projects are damaging the terraces.

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"Widening was causing damage in the Rice Terraces and the Heritage Office of the NCCA raised the alarm with the Executive Director and the Chairman who wrote to Sec. Singson asking for the suspension work," Cruz said.

NCCA chairman Felipe De Leon and Cruz has since written the DPWH to inform DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson to stop all road projects which is encroaching the terraces.

"NCCA has jurisdiction on the terraces," he said, adding the terraces is considered a national cultural treasure and the NCCA is mandated to protect the area.

Cruz traveled to Ifugao in April for a talk and discovered the road widening project of the DPWH and was then informed of the encroachment to the terraces.

“Upon hearing and seeing the damaged road, work a meeting will be set to discuss conservation requirements of the rice terraces,” Cruz said.

Cruz said it was July 30 when the DPWH ordered the suspension of work in the said areas and said “A meeting with the agency is now being scheduled.”

The NCCA and the DPWH is now set to meet to discuss the reversal of damage the road projects have caused the terraces which has damaged privately owned rice paddies.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 05, 2014.

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