‘Protect historical sites from flammable materials, developers’

TO safeguard historical sites, a Cebu City councilor has submitted a draft ordinance that seeks to provide for the protection of local landmarks, monuments, shrines, museums, and cultural heritage.

“These historical and cultural structures have been acknowledged to be a vital part of our nation’s history, which have existed for several years and face possible risks and hazards that may be brought by anthropogenic calamities like fire and human destruction,” read a portion of Councilor Joel Garganera’s proposed ordinance.

Article 3 of the proposed ordinance prohibits the destruction, demolition, mutilation or damage to any local cultural properties, world heritage sites, national cultural treasures, important cultural properties and archeological and anthropological sites.

Garganera also proposed to prohibit modifications or alterations of the original features or undertaking construction or real estate development in any national shrine, monument, landmark, and other historical edifice declared by the National Historical Institute. 

Prohibited acts also include the production, importation, trade, sale and storage, either short-term or long-term, of any kind of combustible or flammable materials within a 500-meter radius of any known historical and cultural heritage site. 

In Parian, Garganera said, a warehouse near the Sandiego-Yap Ancestral House is storing some hardware supplies including paints and other flammable materials. The matter was already brought to attention of the council. 

If the ordinance is approved, anyone found violating it will be fined P5,000 or serve 12 months in prison, and both penalties may be imposed by the court. (RVC)
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