At least 13 monuments along TM Kalaw and Ocampo streets in Manila’s Ermita district are set to be relocated by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) because they hamper redevelopment of Roxas Boulevard.
Joy Bacual, an engineer and officer-in-charge of the Construction Division of DPWH-National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila), on Monday explained that relocating the 13 monuments was a suggestion from PGAA Creative Design, which is working with the division on the transfer.
“These monuments have to be moved because there would be constructions done along the service road such as carriage ways, drainage works, sidewalk, gutter and plant boxes. If we do not move them, these monuments would be hit by the construction works,” she said.
Bacual added that some of the monuments will be transferred to strategic areas along Roxas Boulevard and others will be placed in designated plazas also along the boulevard.
“The Department of Tourism and PGAA want to put the statues in the plazas so it would be more appealing to the eyes and we would also have a more organized roadway,” she said.
The company’s project architect, Paolo Alcazaren, is the consultant for the Roxas Boulevard Redevelopment Plan.
Among the monuments for relocation are those of former Philippine Presidents Carlos P. Romulo, Jose P. Laurel, Ramon Magsaysay and Elpidio Quirino; former Philippine Vice President Salvador Laurel; former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr.; “King of Philippine Movies” Fernando Poe Jr.; and The Philippine Star founding publisher and journalist Maximo Soliven.
Bacual said they could proceed with the relocation project only after getting the consent of the families of those memorialized in the monuments.
Since October 2013, she added, the DPWH has been sending out letters to the living relatives of those being honored in the monuments but not all of them have sent responses.
DPWH-NCR Director Reynaldo Tagudando earlier said the idea of the DOT and the PGAA in their Roxas Boulevard Redevelopment Plan is to make a section of Roxas Boulevard, from T.M. Kalaw Street to P. Ocampo Street “walkable” for local and foreign tourists.