BANAUE, Ifugao – The National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) informed the municipal government that the site of the controversial P55 million 7-storey parking facility is not part of the four declared world heritage sites in the province that would warrant the Commission to acquire jurisdiction over the petitions being filed against the project.
Mayor Jerry C. Dalipog said he received the communication from the NCCA that the area where the parking will be built does not fall within the declared world heritage sites, thus, the Commission has no jurisdiction over the petitions filed by the critics of the construction of the facility.
“We will continue with the implementation of the construction of the pay parking facility because we need it for the expected influx of visitors to the municipality by the end of this year. We have hurdled numerous obstacles in the course of the planning and implementation of the project but we ended up victorious,” Dalipog stressed.
He cited the world heritage sites in the province are the Nagacadan rice terraces of Kiangan, the clustered spider web-like terraces of Hungduan, the clustered rice terraces of Mayoyao and the Bangaan and Batad rice terraces of Banaue, thus, the rice terraces in Poblacion were not covered by the declared world heritage sites.
Earlier, the Cordillera office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP-CAR) denied the prayer of the petitioners of the project to extend the 72-hour temporary restraining order (TRO) it issued against the project for the failure of the petitioners to prove that the area where the pay parking facility is the place where their cultural activities are being done.
Dalipog asserted the local government really needs the pay parking structure because it will effectively and efficiently address the parking problems of thousands of foreign and domestic visitors coming to the locality to spend a well deserved vacation considering that the locality has no adequate parking spaces for their visitors.
According to him, part of the ground floor of the structure will be used to house the 38 vendors who were previously displaced to pave the way for the project while the remaining floors will be used to accommodate around 114 motor vehicles that will contribute in decongestion the major roads of the town from way ward parking of motorists.
The local chief executive pointed out the project passed through numerous consultations that allowed the municipal council to endorse the put up of the pay parking structure and the availment of the P55 million loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to bankroll the implementation of the project which is expected to be completed early next year.
He explained the pay parking structure to be built will be self-liquidating until the loan obtained for the purpose shall have been fully paid within a 15-year period before the municipal government will be generating added revenue from the facility’s operation.