THE National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) is backing the preservation of the Bugnay monument in Tinglayan, Kalinga that is now in danger of demolition.
Dr. Rene Escalante, chairperson of the NHCP, wrote Tinglayan Mayor Sacramento Gumilab, stressing the importance of the markers.
"The Macli-ing Dulag monument is a local monument, therefore the local government unit (LGU) of Tinglayan has the jurisdiction concerning developments that may affect the monument. Please be reminded that monuments of our heroes, illustrious personages and leaders of the locality, should be treated with outmost respect and reverence," Escalante said.
The NHCP recommended to the LGU to formulate zoning guidelines or local ordinances for the protection and development of monument sites and the promotion of clean and green environment and strictly implement these laws especially in places where important monuments and structure are located.
Three years after construction, the Upper Kalinga District Engineering Office (Ukdeo) sent notice to the Cordillera People's Alliance (CPA), the organization that spearheaded the completion of the project, for demolition of the heroes markers after it was tagged to be "illegally built" and poses as an obstruction to the Kalinga national road.
Condemnation has been made for the plan to remove the heroes' monument of indigenous martyrs Dulag, Pedro Dungoc and Lumbaya Gayudan, heroes of the historic Anti-Chico Dam Resistance.
"A buffer zone should be provided around the vicinity of monuments and sites and should be made part of LGU's land use and zoning regulations through local legislation. Town planning and development projects must always include respect for important historic sites and monuments. Adaption of these areas to contemporary life requires the careful installation or improvement of public service facilities," Escalante added.
The NHCP said the heroism of Dulag was recognized through a proposed historical marker in 2013. Prior to the installation of the marker, a letter of addressed to the municipality of the Tingalayan was sent, however as to date, no reply has been received by the NHCP.
"All monuments shall be ensured with proper care, continuous maintenance by the LGU. A routine schedule for the maintenance of monuments and annual maintenance of shall be implemented by the concerned LGU," Escalante said.
CPA, meanwhile, maintained its position against the removal of the monument.
"It sits atop a ravine and is within ancestral domain. Its establishment was jointly decided and worked upon by the CPA, families of the heroes and the iButbut," CAP said, as it called on the officials to maintain due process and civilian spaces in all succeeding meetings or dialogues pertaining to the monument.
Kalinga officials met last week to discuss the demolition with Bugnay elders but did not call on the CPA to participate in any discussion.