A new public hospital’s annex is set to be built in Taytay, Rizal.
Good intentions, yes. Right timing, yes—considering we’re living through the coronavirus pandemic. But why are some of its residents opposing it?
Apparently, an old municipal building that has stood there for over six decades is being demolished for the Rizal Provincial Hospital System-Taytay Annex. Heritage advocates stressed it’s a historical landmark that has been witness to the city’s significant events and changes through the years.
Taytay Advocates of Cultural Heritage (TACH) posted an official statement on Facebook, strongly opposing the move to build the hospital annex.
Some of its parts have already been taken out, like its floor and walls. This is what it looks like as of today, December 4, as posted by the group.
Meanwhile, Barangay Sta. Ana, led by Captain Michael Cruz, expressed their utmost support for the decision. “This office believes that this would be of great help to our fellow Taytayeños especially to those who are living under poverty,” Cruz wrote.
Taytay Public Information Officer Mark Valdez also stressed in a recent interview with Taytay Journal that no official declaration that such property is a cultural heritage has been made.
“Wala pong kahit anong deklarasyon na sinasabing kasama po sa local cultural properties o ancestral heritage structure ang lumang gusali ng Taytay,” he said. “Wala pong anumang deklarasyon, pagpapatibay na siniyasat ng tanggapan ng Sangguniang Bayan Secretariat at ng Municipal Tourism Office na ito ay kinikilala bilang ancestral structure ng National Historical Commission of the Philippines o ng NHCP na ito ay nabibilang sa mga heritage structure.”
It can be noted, though, that NHCP Chairman Dr. Rene R. Escalante reiterated in a letter addressed to Mayor George Ricardo R. Gacula II last Nov. 20 that “the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 (R.A. 10066) considers structures dating at least 50 years old as Important Cultural Properties, unless declared otherwise by the NHCP, and protects them from any untoward modification or demolition.”
Escalante also said they encourage the Taytay municipal government “to declare local heritage sites such as the said old municipal hall and ancestral home, to include these in their submission to the Philippine Registry of Important Cultural Property, and to spare all local heritage in light of the development work, for the further protection of local cultural properties."
Using the hashtags #SaveTaytayLumangMunisipyo and #YesToHospitalNoToDemolition on Facebook, some of the city’s residents clarified that they are not against the construction of the hospital amid the pandemic. It should, however, be built in a different location for its historic preservation.
Article thumbnails from Taytay Advocates of Cultural Heritage (TACH)'s Facebook account