Old railroad demolition awaits NCCA okay

Carcar City map.
Carcar City map. (Google Maps)

THE relocation and restoration of a historic railroad station in Barangay Perrelos, Carcar City, as part of a road-widening project, will proceed only if approved by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

In a phone interview on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, Capitol consultant on museums and heritage Jose Eleazar Bersales said that while Carcar City has expressed willingness to provide space for the entire structure, the final decision still rests with the NCCA.

The announcement came following a meeting held on Monday, May 20, between Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, Carcar City Mayor Patrick Barcenas, representatives from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Cebu District 1 Engineering Office, Bersales, and private lot owners.

The meeting focused on the demolition and reconstruction of the historic railroad station to accommodate the road-widening project while preserving the structure.

The proposed relocation site is near the Carcar City Hall and tourist rest area, where the station will be replicated and restored.

“The DPWH needs to send a proposal and a letter requesting approval, along with supporting documents and plans for the reconstruction,” Bersales said.

“This will expedite the process and help the NCCA decide. If the NCCA does not approve, revisions will be necessary,” said Bersales.

Carcar City has posed no objections to the demolition of the current site.

“DPWH’s mistake was they should have asked permission ahead before they started the road widening; because if the NCCA will not approve, it will be insignificant,” he said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Bersales explained that the DPWH must consult with NCCA experts and secure the necessary clearances, as mandated by law.

The new location, adjacent to the tourist rest area, is expected to enhance the station’s role as a local attraction. If approved, the NCCA will appoint monitors to ensure compliance with preservation standards.

If not, the DPWH will need to outline how they plan to preserve the station in its current location.

“The decision now lies with the NCCA, and until they approve, no demolition can take place”, said Bernales

The structure is made of cement and not coral stone, and will be relatively easy to reconstruct. / CAV

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