The rehabilitation and restoration of the famed Banaue Rice Terraces has now been completed, according to the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).
The development came after two years of rehabilitation work at the 540-hectare UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site located in Barangay Batad and Barangay Bangaan in Ifugao province.
According to TIEZA, a total of P60 million was allotted in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for the 2018 fiscal year for the rehabilitation and restoration of the collapsed terrace walls, while P59.9 million was the approved budget for the contract. The project cost is at P58.558 million.
The stone walling project includes clearing, excavation, and riprapping works. While other costs covered the general requirements, including construction of temporary facilities, project signage, and safety and health programs during the project implementation.
To recall, 33.6 percent of the terraces have been damaged or abandoned more than 2,000 years after the Ifugaos constructed the terraces by hand.
TIEZA closely worked with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) to share the mandate to conserve, preserve, and protect Filipino historical and cultural heritage, and resources.
Meanwhile, the agency also reported that development in the improvement of trekking trails in Banaue town is 50.60 percent complete as of Oct. 14.
The project was implemented almost simultaneously with the restoration of the terraces.
With a GAA funding of P11 million, the rehabilitation work covers the 11 Banaue trails, namely: Awan-Igid-Pula-Cambulo Trail, Cambulo-Batad Trail, Batad-Anaba Trail, Liwang-Bayninan Kinakin Trail, Poitan-Tam-An Section, Viewpoint-Bocos Trail, Ligligan-Aguian, Viewdeck-Kiiyang Trail, Gohang-San Fernando Trail (Gohang E/ Waiting Shed Section), Gohang-San Fernando Trail (Creek-Tubong Section), Gohang-San Fernando Trail (Hiwwang-Proper San Fernando Section), and Balawis- Uhaj Trail.
TIEZA said the project is being implemented by the province of Ifugao through transfer of funds.
In line with the rehabilitation of the heritage site, TIEZA also approved in 2018 the rehabilitation of the 5.3-hectare Banaue Hotel and Youth Hostel, located in the heart of the Banaue Rice Terraces.
The asset was acquired by TIEZA (formerly known as Philippine Tourism Authority) in 1977 by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 1172.