February 6, 2023

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines has notified the municipality of Tinglayan, Kalinga to respect the monument of three local heroes, which is subject for demolition by the Upper Kalinga District Engineering Office.

In a letter to Mayor Sacrament Gumilab dated Oct. 30, NHCP Chair Rene Escalante said the structure is considered a local monument, thus the Tinglayan LGU has the jurisdiction concerning developments that may affect the structure.

“Please be reminded that monuments of our heroes, illustrious personages, and leaders of the locality should be treated with utmost respect and reverence,” Escalante said.

Earlier, the Upper Kalinga DEO has ordered the removal of the monument in honor of Macli-ing Dulag, Pedro Dungoc, and Lumbaya Gayudan, who were the elders of the Butbut ethnic group in Kalinga. The office said the monument, which was built on 2017, has encroached on the road right-of-way. 

Escalante said the NHCP also recognized the heroism of Dulag through a proposed historical marker in 2013. The NHCP wrote former mayor Johnny Maymaya to ask for the approval of a proposed installation of a historical marker bearing and acknowledging the heroism of Dulag. To date, the agency has not received a reply from the municipal government.

“All monuments shall be ensured with proper and continuous maintenance by the LGUs. A routine schedule for the maintenance of monuments and annual maintenance budget shall be implemented by the concerned LGUs,” he said.

The NHCP also recommended that LGUs should formulate zoning guidelines or ordinances for the protection and development of monument sites. It should also promote the strict implementation of these laws, especially in places where important monuments and structures are located.

“A buffer zone should be provided around the vicinity of monument/sites, and should be made part of the 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. Adaptation of these areas to contemporary life requires the careful installation or improvement of public service facilities,” the letter stated.

Cordillera Peoples Alliance Secretary-General Sarah Dekdeken said Francis Macliing, the son of Dulag, requested for the construction of the monument in 2000. It was not until 2017 that it was built due to lack of resources and conflicts among indigenous peoples in the localities. 

Cordillera artist Jordan Mangosan and Architect Vlad Longid collaborated for the sculpture and structural design of the monument. The CPA said no government funds were used in building the monument.

The sangguniang panlalawigan of Kalinga is currently conducting a hearing on the resolution for the supposed removal of the edifice. – Ofelia C. Empian