All projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that may affect historical sites or structures shall only be approved when studies are done in coordination with the National Commission of Culture and Arts (NCCA).
This was the latest instruction of DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson in Department Order (DO) No. 138, Series of 2014, following NCCA’s reiteration of the public’s compliance to Republic Act 10066 or the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009.
RA 10066 states that the DPWH shall collaborate with the NCCA in the implementation of programs or projects, specifically major infrastructure projects that would have an impact on heritage structures.
Singson said the Department’s policy is also in response to several calls from groups and individuals opposing public works projects that may affect historical sites.
“To ensure proper protection of historical sites and prevent delays and revision of vital projects during construction, all DPWH offices are directed to closely coordinate with NCCA during the conduct of feasibility studies for the design and improvement of projects,” said Singson.
The DPWH Secretary said that while the government aims to provide infrastructure development across the country, the “preservation of historical sites and structures is a national concern as they serve to preserve our country’s rich culture.”
“The relics of the past are national treasures which must be preserved, restored and enhanced for the benefit of future generations,” he further stated.