by Harley F. Palangchao
BANAUE, Ifugao – This town will proceed with the P54-million worth six-story parking building as it informed the National Commission for Culture and the Arts the project site is not within a heritage site.
Banaue Mayor Jerry Dalipog, in a letter, invited the NCCA representatives to inspect the project site themselves and also review the project’s program of work.
Dalipog said the structure, which is capable of accommodating more than 110 light vehicles, has been programmed to be completed in eight months after it commenced in June.
“We informed NCCA the project is not situated within the heritage sites in Banaue. There are only two heritage sites in our municipality, which are the Battad and Bangaan Rice Terraces. The project site is within a commercial zone and four kilometers away from the Banaue Viewpoint,” Dalipog told reporters.
Dalipog added the multi-level parking project is just one story taller than the house of the main petitioner, which is located beside the project site.
The mayor also clarified the misconception that the project, if completed, will block the view of the rice terraces in Poblacion.
Petitioners led by Poblacion Punong Barangay Fernando Bahatan asked the Ifugao Regional Trial Court Branch 34 to issue a temporary restraining order against the project. The court later issued a 72-hour TRO.
But the court during a hearing on July 21 denied the petition to extend the TRO, noting that the petitioners failed to comply with the order to file a P50,000 bond.
The court likewise cited other reasons why it could not grant the petitions.
“So far, petitioners have yet to show proof the project poses any health hazard and the area could not host the building. Neither is there any proof to show the absence of any prior consultation,” reads the Aug. 13 order of acting judge Romeo Habbiling.