DPWH urged to preserve Ilocos Norte’s Barit Bridge

LAOAG CITY — Heritage advocates found in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) or Provincial Board on Monday as board members urged concerned authorities, particularly the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), to preserve the three-arched Spanish-era bridge in Barangay Barit, this city.

In a privilege speech, Provincial Board Member Vicentito Lazo raised the issue about the partial destruction of the Barit Bridge, which ignited several reactions on social media.

Citing a news report published in a national daily, Lazo said the DPWH is expected to coordinate with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, National Historical Commission of the Philippines and the National Museum on any construction, renovation, retrofitting or demolition activities affecting the integrity of historical and cultural sites and structures under its jurisdictions.

On the case of the Barit Bridge, workers of a road widening project has started to demolish the approach of the old bridge but they were later on stopped by concerned authorities.

To shed light on the issue, a joint committee hearing of the SP is set on Thursday, inviting District Engineer Nestor Pasion of the first engineering district of Ilocos Norte.

According to Lazo, there is a need to take special concern on the alleged violation, adding that an important cultural property needs to be protected and preserved.

Ten years ago, the Ilocos Norte board has been instrumental in the preservation of a heritage building at the heart of the city.

“We have fought tooth and nail in preserving the two-story Gabaldon-type school building of the Laoag Central School which remains and continues to stand proud,” said Lazo as he underscored, “we should do it with Barit Bridge too.” PNA-northboundasia.com