Manila council stops condominium project


THE Manila City Council suspended the construction of Torre de Manila in view of public outcry against the condominium project as it would block the Rizal Shrine, once completed.

A resolution unanimously adopted by the Manila City Council on Tuesday said that the “visual dominance of national monuments, like Rizal Shrine, ought to be protected,” and should be given “due prominence since they symbolize national significance.”

The Rizal National Monument in Luneta has been a focal point in Manila since early 1900s, thus the City Council asserted that this should be “preserved and protected and that the National Cultural Treasures must be safeguarded of their hereby intrinsic value,” under the Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act or PD 374.

DMCI, property developer of Torre de Manila, was granted a building permit by city building officials last year despite the protest of heritage and conservation groups and activists.

With the suspension of the building permit, DMCI is now “duty-bound to promptly adopt measures which shall ensure, secure, protect, and promote the integrity of our
nation’s prime cultural property,” the resolution said.

The council’s oversight ad hoc committee also found violations in the zonal law pertaining to the floor area ratio and height restrictions but DMCI “ had brazenly continued to build their proposed 41-storey Torre de Manila condominium and even had the audacity to pre-sell some units.”

Councilor DJ Bagatsing of Manila, author of the resolution and Manila’s tourism chairman, said that this sets a “significant precedent to ensure the integrity of our national monuments and encourage a policy of responsible development over reckless commercialization.”

With the suspension of Torre de Manila’s construction, the council suggests an “inclusive dialogue and comprehensive consultation between and among all concerned stakeholders and parties involved.”

Bagatsing appealed to DMCI to “respect the resolution’s binding authority and to come to the table, this time.”

Jorge F. Zamora


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