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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, March 17, 2014
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Declare plaza, cathedral
historical sites – Lopez

BY CHRYSEE SAMILLANO

Bacolod Councilor Carlos Jose Lopez is urging the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to declare the Bacolod Public Plaza and San Sebastian Cathedral as historical sites.

Lopez said that one of the last straws that may finally lead the way for the funding of Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority for the beautification of the Bacolod Public Plaza is the endorsement of by NHCP that Bacolod City Public Plaza and the San Sebastian Cathedral are historical sites.

To realize that, Lopez, main author of City Ordinance No. 635, or the Bacolod City Public Plaza Beautification Ordinance, met NHCP chairperson Maria Serena I. Diokno at her office Tuesday in Metro Manila.

Lopez said Diokno told him that she will pursue and hasten the move to declare both the Bacolod Public Plaza and the Cathedral as historical sites.

But before this happens, Lopez said, he will call a public hearing to hear to the sentiments of the people, with emphasis on the wishes of the diocese of Bacolod that owns the Cathedral, and part of the public plaza.

The plaza was constructed in 1927 as a place for recreation, political, spiritual and cultural activities. It is a popular site for outdoor picnics and concerts. The gazebo is often used to house a bandstand and inscribed along the sides of the roof are the names of Westernclassical music composers Beethoven,Wagner,Haydn,and Mozart, Lopez said, quoting the description in Wilkepedia.

Across the plaza is the San Sebastian Cathedral and its magnificent bell tower. The seat of Catholic faith was established in 1825 during the incumbency of Fr. Julian Gonzaga as Parish Priest.

The Bacolod Public Plaza is now 87 years old, while the San Sebastian Cathedral is 189 years old, he said.

Lopez said that if the NHCP declares both the plaza and the cathedral as historical sites, then the last of the 16 requirements of TIEZA will be met, and hopefully, next year, the beautification may start.

“However, if there is an objection from the church and various sectors in the community then we will have to abandon the project,” he said.

TWO DISTRICTS

Meanwhile, Lopez yesterday said that he is supportive of the move to divide Bacolod City into two political districts.

Lopez said he believes having two congressmen and 16 councilors will give constituents more meaningful service.

Bacolod is growing and having only one congressman for 61 barangays is already a feat, he said, adding that he will support the move in whatever way he can.

He also pointed out that, as it stands today, the development of the northern part of Bacolod compared to that of its southern part is entirely different, thus there is need to come up with two districts so that the city can have congressmen who can micro manage the city.*CGS

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