Gatchalian: New heritage zones in Cebu and Ilocos Sur to boost local tourism

Published January 22, 2022, 11:20 AM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Sherwin T. Garchalian on Saturday, Jan. 22 said the creation of Heritage Zones in Carcar City, Cebu and the Municipality of San Vicente, Ilocos Sur would help local tourism bounce back especially amid the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Republic Act 11644 declared the City of Carcar as a heritage zone. Republic Act 11645 also establishes a heritage zone within the Municipality of San Vicente, Ilocos Sur.

“Sa paglikha natin ng mga bagong Heritage Zones, matutulungan natin ang lalong pagsigla ng turismo at ekonomiya sa bayan ng San Vicente at sa lungsod ng Carcar (The creation of the new Heritage Zones will help develop tourism and economy in San Vicente and Carcar). Matutulungan natin ang ating mga kababayan, lalo na’t patuloy tayong bumabangon mula sa hagupit ng pandemya (We will help our countrymen as we improve from the negative effects of the epidemic),” Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, said.

The heritage zone in San Vicente shall include the cultural properties declared as National Cultural Treasures and Important Cultural Properties, as well as National Historical Landmarks, Shrines, Monuments, and Sites. The Heritage Zone will also include other immovable, movable, or intangible cultural properties as may be designated by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and other concerned government agencies and entities.

The laws provide that the Department of Tourism (DOT), in coordination with the respective local governments, the NCCA and its affiliated cultural agencies, and other concerned government agencies will accord priority development to the new Heritage Zones.

The DOT, the NCCA and its affiliated cultural agencies, will also coordinate with the respective local governments, and other government agencies such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to prepare the development plans of the Heritage Zones. These development plans will involve the preservation, conservation, restoration, and maintenance of cultural sites and structures for the enhancement and sustainability of tourism.

“Creating Heritage Zones in Cebu’s Carcar City and Ilocos Sur’s San Vicente does not only recognize their long histories and rich cultures. It also ensures the government’s commitment to preserve the cultural treasures in these places and to promote them as tourist destinations,” according to Gatchalian who sponsored the passage of both laws in the Senate.