DAGUPAN CITY – In a bid to conserve, promote and protect the city’s historical and cultural heritage, the city of Dagupan and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on February 19 for the conduct of a cultural mapping here.

In a simple ceremony held at the city museum, Mayor Belen T. Fernandez and Councilor Jeslito “Jigs” Seen signed the MOU with John Delan Robillos, vice head of the  Subcommission on Cultural Heritage  of NCCA.

Also present during the signing were City Councilors Dennis Canto and Marcelino Fernandez, City Administrator Farah Marie G. Decano, Dagupan Historical Culture and the Arts Office head Zenaida Sinlao, and Tourism Office head Sharon Maramba.

The MOU stipulates that in as much as Local Government Units (LGUs) under Republic Act 7160 are encouraged to ensure and support the preservation and enrichment of culture and while the NCCA provides for the protection and conservation of the national cultural heritage, both parties mutually agreed to conduct a cultural mapping in the city in close collaboration, partnership and coordination with each other.

Under the MOU, the NCCA agrees to conduct capability-building seminar-workshops for stakeholders who will conduct the cultural mapping; provide technical assistance and mentoring during the whole duration of the project; provide transportation of cultural mapping workshop facilitators to the locality; and to provide honoraria for the cultural mapping workshop facilitators.

The city will then organize the implementation of the project in the city; organize the participants and local mappers for the training workshop; provide logistical needs for the different phases of the project; pass ordinances or resolutions supporting the project; ensure the continuous implementation of the project phases until its completion; and assist other LGUs in Cultural Mapping Projects.

During the briefing conducted by the NCCA led by Robillos along with Divine Arawiran, Project Manager on Cultural Mapping, Mayor Fernandez disclosed her plans of restoring the ruins of Franklin Bridge, the General MacArthur Park, the old city hall, the jack stones at Tondaligan, the water tower, the lighthouse and the Leonor Rivera piano.

The historical walk on Jovellanos street up to to Zamora Street, the old Church, the West Central Home Economics building where MacArthur stayed, the city plaza and other structures are sought to be declared as historical sites.

We have a lot of work to do for our city’s heritage. Good luck Councilor Seen, who started the job with Commissioner Gonzalo Duque,” said Fernandez. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/Feb. 20, 2018)