PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law Republic Acts 11644 and 11645, declaring Carcar City in Cebu and San Vicente in Ilocos Sur, respectively, as heritage zones.

Read: 3 reasons to visit Carcar

Malacañang said the laws signed on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022 will prompt the Department of Tourism (DOT), along with the local governments of the said city, municipality and the provinces of Cebu and Ilocos Sur, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and its affiliated cultural agencies, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), to immediately prepare development plans involving the preservation, conservation, restoration, and maintenance of cultural and historical sites and structures for the enhancement and sustainability of tourism in Carcar City and San Vicente.

In a statement, Rep. Eduardo Gullas (Cebu, 1st) thanked the President for the passage of RA 11644.

Gullas authored House Bill 5644 which was the congressional version of RA 11644.

Gullas said the new law will be an important measure in protecting Carcar’s historical treasures.

“This shows that Carcaranons and Cebuanos still look back on their glorious and majestic past and serves as a reminder to look forward into the future without forgetting the heritage of the past,” Gullas said.

He also thanked Sen. Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on basic education and culture, for defending his bill in the Upper House.

Lapulapu

Meanwhile, during his Talk to the People Address, which was aired on Tuesday morning, Jan. 18, Duterte said he is mulling the creation of a bigger statue of Filipino hero Lapulapu.

He said the statue of Lapulapu, one of the country’s national heroes, should always be bigger than Portugese explorer Ferdinand Magellan’s.

“I am not belittling Magellan...I do not mean to offend the sensibility of Cebuanos. I’m just a citizen of this country expressing my opinion. When I was campaigning for the presidency, I went to Cebu and there was this statue of Magellan and Lapulapu. Magellan’s statue is bigger than Lapulapu’s. I don’t know about the Cebuanos, but I am very uncomfortable to say that the statue of Lapulapu is smaller than Magellan’s,” Duterte said.

“There was a crowd (then) and I said if I become President, I will make Lapulapu’s statue bigger than Magellan’s. Can you note that, Karlo, and somebody from NHCP to go there and try to look at the situation,” he added.

Duterte was referring to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

In response, Nograles said there is already a bigger Lapulapu statue in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

“Call the Historical Commission. I want it started,” Duterte insisted.

Lapu-Lapu defeated Magellan in the famous Battle of Mactan in 1521. (SunStar Philippines)