Vigan City gov’t holds conservation guidelines workshop-forum

The city government of Vigan in coordination with Fundacion Santiago recently held a three-day workshop-forum on the Vigan Conservation Guidelines at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Intramuros, Manila.

Initiated by Vice Mayor Franz Ranches and with the support of Mayor Ferdinand Medina and the entire City Council, the said activity is the final phase of the 2003 Workshop Forum on the Vigan Conservation Guidelines.

The final workshop aims to fine tune the proposed amendments to the existing city conservation guidelines and come up with a new and updated conservation guidelines based on international standards.

Various resource speakers from the NCCA and University of Sto. Tomas (UST) were invited to give lectures on the said forum.

Commissioner Trixie Angeles of the NCCA talked about the importance of protective legislation in a heritage site. NCCA consultant Architect Augusto Villalon and Arch. Michael Manalo from UST discussed why conservation measures are relevant in protecting Vigan and in managing its cultural heritage.

Arch. Fatima Alonzo on the other hand presented her assessement of the city’s existing conservation ordinance while Executive Directors Chaco Molina and Cecile Olivarez of Fundacion Santiago and NCCA respectively gave their messages to the participants.

For his part, Vice Mayor Franz Ranches gave a refresher on Vigan as a Heritage site, why this city was inscribed as a “World Heritage Site”, what measures have been imposed upon so far, and the city’s plan in terms of supplemental legislation and other management measures.

Many proposals were deliberated upon and approved later by the participants wherein workshops were done after the various presentations.

The proposed amendments approved included the new composition of the Vigan Conservation Council and its Technical Working Group (TWG), the inclusion of the provisions on surety bond, honorarium for the TWG members and Conservation Council who are non-employees of the city and the authority of the TWG to formulate the technical specifics to the conservation guidelines and include the homeowners’ manual as a reference material.

Participants of the said activity were Mayor Medina, Vice Mayor Ranches, Councilors Figuerres, Agdamag, Molina, Apelin, Goulart, Adriatico, Formoso, Quibilan, Alves and Liga Pres. Benzon. The members of the TWG were representatives from the two chapters of the United Architects of the Philippines and Ms. Marjo Gasser of ISVAHAI.