Unesco tells Philippines to protect Baroque churches from China-funded bridge

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San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila. Source: Philippine Inquirer 20190715

via Philippine Inquirer, 15 July 2019: The construction of a bridge near Intramuros is a source of concern as it potentially affects San Agustin Church and subsequently three other churches which are jointly listed as World Heritage sites.

Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar has admitted that the construction of the controversial Binondo-Intramuros Bridge is ongoing, but Unesco National Commission of the Philippines (Unacom) has allayed fears of the possible delisting of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines from the World Heritage List.

“Unacom has been in close coordination with relevant agencies and entities regarding the construction of the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge and its impact on the buffer zone of San Agustin Church,” said Unacom Secretary General Lila Ramos Shahani in an online interview with the Inquirer, following the recent 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) in Baku, Azerbaijan, where the Philippine Baroque Churches were discussed.

Heritage advocates and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (Icomos) Philippines, an advisory body to United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (Unesco), have criticized the bridge which they say would affect the buffer zone of San Agustin Church in Intramuros and lead to the delisting not only of the the oldest church in the country but also to the three other Unesco World Heritage listed Baroque Churches of Miag-ao in Iloilo, Vigan in Ilocos Sur and Paoay in Ilocos Norte.

Source: Unesco tells Philippines to protect Baroque churches from China-funded bridge | Inquirer Lifestyle