City councilor pushes for historical sites’ protection

CEBU City Councilor Joel Garganera has proposed an ordinance to preserve and maintain local historical landmarks, monuments, shrines, museums and other heritage sites.

The lawmaker’s legislation is titled “Cultural Heritage Site Declaration, Protection and Preservation Ordinance.”

The measure identifies the landmark areas—Magellan’s Cross, Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, Fort San Pedro, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Casa Gorordo, Jesuit House, Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House, Plaza Independencia, Museo Sugbo, Heritage of Cebu Monument, Malacañan sa Sugbu and Estero Parian.

Garganera’s measure is in line with Article 14 of the 1987 Constitution, which mandates the state to “conserve, develop, promote and preserve the nation’s historical and cultural heritage, artistic and historic treasures, and shall be responsible in the regulation and protection of such.” The councilor said it is important to pass the measure as the country is set to celebrate the 500th year of Christianity, which started in Cebu in 1521 after Rajah Humabon and his subjects allowed themselves to be baptized by a priest who accompanied the crew of Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer who worked for Spain.

“In preparation of such phenomenal event, the City of Cebu—an amalgamation of rich cultural heritage , diversified industries and abundant tourist spots—has the duty to safeguard these historical sites from any unlawful or destructive tendencies or be exposed to possible risks of both local and foreign entities by imposing stringent legislative measure to protect such,” a portion of Garganera’s legislation read.

If the City Council approves the measure and it is signed by Mayor Edgardo Labella, the City would not allow gasoline stations, crematoriums and morgues to be built within 500 meters from historical and cultural sites. Establishments that sell toxic chemical products and flammable materials would also not be allowed within a 500-meter radius.

The measure also prohibits heavy equipment and big trucks from passing by the cultural sites. It punishes a violator with a fine of not more than P5,000 or a one-year prison stay. (From PAC of Superbalita Cebu/KAL)


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