Nayong Pilipino development suspended due to pandemic

Published October 7, 2020, 3:11 PM

by Hanah Tabios

As coronavirus cases in the country continue to rise, the Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF) announced the temporary suspension of the development of the Philippines’ massive cultural park and creative hub in Parañaque City. 

In October 2019,  the national government approved the future site for the foundation’s cultural tourism and public education programs in the 9.57-hectare property at Entertainment City on reclaimed land from Manila Bay in Parañaque.

The area was identified as one with high cultural, historical, heritage and eco-tourism values because of its proximity to the Las Piñas–Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA).  It was intended not only as a place to learn about our natural and cultural heritage but also as a venue for promoting sustainable tourism.

However, following the passage of Republic Act 11469  or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, the NPF was obliged to temporarily suspend the implementation of the project and direct its efforts in averting the public health and economic crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“NPF’s land in Entertainment City, Paranaque, has been delegated as the site of one of many new quarantine facilities to be raised in the following months, and the largest in Metro Manila,” the NPF said in a statement. 

But Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat clarified that no funds from the NPF were spent for the quarantine facilities. 

“NPF only allowed the use of a portion of the property, and the plans for the development of Cultural Park and Creative Hub will still be pursued,” she said. 

It was only in January when the foundation announced its vision for the new “Nayong Pilipino”, which is to be the home to permanent and temporary exhibitions, performances, multimedia content, and other activities that would highlight various facets of the country’s cultural heritage.

A library will also be built as a repository of knowledge products free and open to the public, as well as a museum with a permanent collection of ethnographic objects. 

“The Nayong Pilipino Foundation Cultural Park and Creative Hub, while initially planned and designed for a different purpose, will therefore still remain true to its mandate by providing a place of healing for the people and the preservation of our heritage,” the NPF said. 

“Our priority is to ensure the health of our citizens. We have to work together to make sure that everyone has access to testing and treatment so that we can finally control the contagion that has ravaged our economy for months,” it added.