NEGROS ORIENTAL (PIA) — The Negros Oriental Tourism Council (NOTC) recently passed a resolution for the conservation and preservation of historical structures in the province in line with with Republic Act 10066 or National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009.
Under the resolution, old structures existing 50 years and above such as bridges, churches, bell towers, houses, furniture and fixtures, habitat for animals, musical instruments, artifacts and workmanship in Negros Oriental with impact on historical, cultural and environmental values will be conserved and preserved.
In a recent council meeting, Dr. Nichol Elman, NOTC co-chariman, discussed on the significance of preserving Negros Oriental’s cultural heritage for future generations to appreciate the structure’s legacies and its historical value.
Elman said the resolution will include a motion for the governor to enter into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) for possible funding of this project.
He also suggested for Silliman University’s Philippine Historical Society forge a MOA with the provincial government for them to handle the mapping of structures and historical artifacts in the different municipalities.
Meanwhile, council member Atty. Francel Martinez said that promotion of cultural tourism such as dances, engineering, old workmanship, and raw materials are rarely found in Negros Oriental such as the old assembly hall and marine laboratory in Silliman University, the Cathedral Church and Bell Tower, among others.
Martinez said the Cathedral Church and bell tower are symbols of old workmanship where huge lime stones were precision fit in building the structures.
However, he lamented that the church is now covered with cement and tiles when the structure was refurbished.
Martinez also pointed out the Locomotive in Central Azucarera de Bais along railway tracks of sugar plantation as cultural attraction in Bais City years back.
Bais City then showcased a farm or day tour with a ride on the locomotive around the farm and feast on spanish foods after the tour, but it was not sustained.
Martinez cited the important role of government in preserving, maintaining, and marketing of cultural tourism as one of the major drivers in economic development. (rmn/lpp/PIA7-Negros Oriental/This article was originally published at PIA website on July 27, 2016)